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In his own case, he explains, he had to go through a personal psychological collapse as a young man before he could escape what he saw as his chains. He explained this in a letter in I knew what I wanted: To go and live in some wild place. I did not know even one person who would have understood why I wanted to do such a thing. So, deep in my heart, I felt convinced that I would never be able to escape from civilization. Therefore I could do anything I wanted. I was free! At the beginning of the s, Kaczynski moved to a small cabin in the woods of Montana where he worked to live a self-sufficient life, without electricity, hunting and fishing and growing his own food.

He lived that way for twenty-five years, trying, initially at least, to escape from civilization. More cabins were built in his woods, roads were enlarged, loggers buzzed through his forests. More planes passed overhead every year. One day, in August , Kaczynski set out hiking toward his favorite wild place:.

The best place, to me, was the largest remnant of this plateau that dates from the Tertiary age. That summer there were too many people around my cabin so I decided I needed some peace. I went back to the plateau and when I got there I found they had put a road right through the middle of it. It was from that point on I decided that, rather than trying to acquire further wilderness skills, I would work on getting back at the system. I can identify with pretty much every word of this, including, sometimes, the last one. Ted Kaczynski was known to the FBI as the Unabomber during the seventeen years in which he sent parcel bombs from his shack to those he deemed responsible for the promotion of the technological society he despises.

In those two decades he killed three people and injured twenty-four others. His targets lost eyes and fingers and sometimes their lives. He nearly brought down an airplane. He meant it. Advanced technologies, he explained, created dependency; they took tools and processes out of the hands of individuals and put them into the metaphorical hands of organizations.

In exchange for flashing lights and throbbing engines, they lost the things that should be most valuable to a human individual: Autonomy.

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It applied more widely to social and economic life. A few years back I wrote a book called Real England , which was also about conviviality, as it turned out. In particular, it was about how human-scale, vernacular ways of life in my home country were disappearing, victims of the march of the machine. Small shops were crushed by supermarkets, family farms pushed out of business by the global agricultural market, ancient orchards rooted up for housing developments, pubs shut down by developers and state interference.

What the book turned out to be about, again, was autonomy and control: about the need for people to be in control of their tools and places rather than to remain cogs in the machine. Critics of that book called it nostalgic and conservative, as they do with all books like it. If you want human-scale living, you doubtless do need to look backward. If there was an age of human autonomy, it seems to me that it probably is behind us. It is certainly not ahead of us, or not for a very long time; not unless we change course, which we show no sign of wanting to do.

Then they were buried, by Thatcher and Reagan, by three decades of cheap oil and shopping. Lauded as visionaries at first, at least by some, they became mocked as throwbacks by those who remembered them. But things change. Another orthodoxy is in its death throes. What happens next is what interests me, and worries me too. Writing is fulfilling too, intellectually and sometimes emotionally, but physically it is draining and boring: hours in front of computers or scribbling notes in books, or reading and thinking or attempting to think.

Mowing with a scythe shuts down the jabbering brain for a little while, or at least the rational part of it, leaving only the primitive part, the intuitive reptile consciousness, working fully. Using a scythe properly is a meditation: your body in tune with the tool, your tool in tune with the land. You concentrate without thinking, you follow the lay of the ground with the face of your blade, you are aware of the keenness of its edge, you can hear the birds, see things moving through the grass ahead of you.

Focus—relaxed focus—is the key to mowing well. Tolstoy, who obviously wrote from experience, explained it in Anna Karenina:. The longer Levin went on mowing, the oftener he experienced those moments of oblivion when his arms no longer seemed to swing the scythe, but the scythe itself his whole body, so conscious and full of life; and as if by magic, regularly and definitely without a thought being given to it, the work accomplished itself of its own accord.

These were blessed moments. People come to my courses for all kinds of reasons, but most want to learn to use the tool for a practical purpose. Sometimes they are managing wildlife reserves or golf courses. Some of them want to control sedge grass or nettles or brambles in their fields or gardens, or destroy couch grass on their allotments.

Some of them want to trim lawns or verges. After all, we have weed whackers and lawnmowers now, and they are noisier than scythes and have buttons and use electricity or petrol and therefore they must perform better, right? Now, I would say this of course, but no, it is not right. Certainly if you have a five-acre meadow and you want to cut the grass for hay or silage, you are going to get it done a lot quicker though not necessarily more efficiently with a tractor and cutter bar than you would with a scythe team, which is the way it was done before the s.

Down at the human scale, though, the scythe still reigns supreme. A growing number of people I teach, for example, are looking for an alternative to a brushcutter. A brushcutter is essentially a mechanical scythe. It is a great heavy piece of machinery that needs to be operated with both hands and requires its user to dress up like Darth Vader in order to swing it through the grass.

It roars like a motorbike, belches out fumes, and requires a regular diet of fossil fuels. It hacks through the grass instead of slicing it cleanly like a scythe blade. It is more cumbersome, more dangerous, no faster, and far less pleasant to use than the tool it replaced. So why do people use it, and why do they still laugh at the scythe?

To ask that question in those terms is to misunderstand what is going on. Brushcutters are not used instead of scythes because they are better; they are used because their use is conditioned by our attitudes toward technology. Performance is not really the point, and neither is efficiency. Religion is the point: the religion of complexity. The myth of progress manifested in tool form. Plastic is better than wood. Moving parts are better than fixed parts. Noisy things are better than quiet things.

Complicated things are better than simple things. New things are better than old things. We all believe this, whether we like it or not. THE HOMELY, pipe-smoking, cob-and-straw visions of Illich and Schumacher take us back to what we would like to think was a kinder time: a time when no one was mailing out bombs in pursuit of a gentler world. I sometimes like to say that the movement was born in the same year I was—, the year in which the fabled Limits to Growth report was commissioned by the Club of Rome—and this is near enough to the truth to be a jumping-off point for a narrative.

If the green movement was born in the early s, then the s, when there were whales to be saved and rainforests to be campaigned for, were its adolescence. Its coming-of-age party was in , in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The future looked bright for the greens back then. Two decades on, things look rather different. It was accompanied by the usual shrill demands for optimism and hope, but there was no disguising the hollowness of the exercise. Every environmental problem identified at the original Earth Summit has gotten worse in the intervening twenty years, often very much worse, and there is no sign of this changing.

The green movement, which seemed to be carrying all before it in the early s, has plunged into a full-on midlife crisis. There is no likelihood of the world going their way. In most green circles now, sooner or later, the conversation comes round to the same question: what the hell do we do next? There are plenty of people who think they know the answer to that question.

One of them is Peter Kareiva, who would like to think that he and his kind represent the future of environmentalism, and who may turn out to be right. Like the neoliberals, the neo-environmentalists are attempting to break through the lines of an old orthodoxy that is visibly exhausted and confused. Like the neoliberals, they are mostly American and mostly male, and they emphasize scientific measurement and economic analysis over other ways of seeing and measuring.

Like the neoliberals, they are beginning to grow in numbers at a time of global collapse and uncertainty. And like the neoliberals, they think they have radical solutions. He is an outspoken former conservationist who now believes that most of what the greens think they know is wrong.

Nature, he says, is more resilient than fragile; science proves it. As we destroy habitats, we create new ones. But Kareiva is not alone. North, Brian Clegg, and Wilfred Beckerman. Beyond the field of conservation, the neo-environmentalists are distinguished by their attitude toward new technologies, which they almost uniformly see as positive.

Neo-environmentalists also tend to exhibit an excitable enthusiasm for markets. Tied in with this is an almost religious attitude toward the scientific method. Everything that matters can be measured by science and priced by markets, and any claims without numbers attached can be easily dismissed. Some of this might be shocking to some old-guard greens—which is the point—but it is hardly a new message. In fact, it is a very old one; it is simply a variant on the old Wellsian techno-optimism that has been promising us cornucopia for over a century. But though they burn with the shouty fervor of the born-again, the neo-environmentalists are not exactly wrong.

In fact, they are at least half right. They are right to say that the human-scale, convivial approaches of those s thinkers are never going to work if the world continues to formulate itself according to the demands of late capitalist industrialism. They are right to say that a world of 9 billion people all seeking the status of middle-class consumers cannot be sustained by vernacular approaches. They are right to say that the human impact on the planet is enormous and irreversible. They are right to say that traditional conservation efforts sometimes idealized a preindustrial nature.

They are right to say that the campaigns of green NGOs often exaggerate and dissemble. And they are right to say that the greens have hit a wall, and that continuing to ram their heads against it is not going to knock it down. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state.

But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. What they did believe was that there were still large-scale, functioning ecosystems that were worth getting out of bed to protect from destruction. To understand why, consider the case of the Amazon. What do we value about the Amazon forest? It is lived in and off of by humans, but it is not created or controlled by them.

It teems with a great, shifting, complex diversity of both human and nonhuman life, and no species dominates the mix. It is a complex, working ecosystem that is also a human-culture-system, because in any kind of worthwhile world, the two are linked. This is what intelligent green thinking has always called for: human and nonhuman nature working in some degree of harmony, in a modern world of compromise and change in which some principles, nevertheless, are worth cleaving to. The neo-environmentalists, needless to say, have no time for this kind of fluff.

Conservation will measure its achievement in large part by its relevance to people. There it is, in black and white: the wild is dead, and what remains of nature is for people. We can effectively do what we like, and we should. Science says so! By the time this is realized—if it ever is—it is too late to change course. The earliest example he gives is the improvement in hunting techniques in the Upper Paleolithic era, around fifteen thousand years ago. Wright tracks the disappearance of wildlife on a vast scale whenever prehistoric humans arrived on a new continent.

The perfection of hunting spelled the end of hunting as a way of life. Easy meat meant more babies. More babies meant more hunters. More hunters, sooner or later, meant less game. Most of the great human migrations across the world at this time must have been driven by want, as we bankrupted the land with our moveable feasts. This is the progress trap. Each improvement in our knowledge or in our technology will create new problems, which require new improvements.

Each of these improvements tends to make society bigger, more complex, less human-scale, more destructive of nonhuman life, and more likely to collapse under its own weight. This is the same attitude that makes us assume that a brushcutter is a better way of mowing grass than a scythe, and it seems to be equally erroneous. As Wells demonstrates, analysis of the skeletal remains of people living before and after the transition to agriculture during the Paleolithic demonstrate something remarkable: an all-around collapse in quality of life when farming was adopted.

Hunter-gatherers living during the Paleolithic period, between 30, and 9, BCE, were on average taller—and thus, by implication, healthier—than any people since, including people living in late twentieth-century America. Their median life span was higher than at any period for the next six thousand years, and their health, as estimated by measuring the pelvic inlet depth of their skeletons, appears to have been better, again, than at any period since—including the present day. This collapse in individual well-being was likely due to the fact that settled agricultural life is physically harder and more disease-ridden than the life of a shifting hunter-gatherer community.

So much for progress. But why in this case, Wells asks, would any community move from hunting and gathering to agriculture? The answer seems to be: not because they wanted to, but because they had to. They had spelled the end of their hunting and gathering lifestyle by getting too good at it. They had killed off most of their prey and expanded their numbers beyond the point at which they could all survive.

They had fallen into a progress trap. We have been falling into them ever since. Look at the proposals of the neo-environmentalists in this light and you can see them as a series of attempts to dig us out of the progress traps that their predecessors knocked us into. At least in part because of the previous wave of agricultural improvements—the so-called Green Revolution, which between the s and s promoted a new form of agriculture that depended upon high levels of pesticides and herbicides, new agricultural technologies, and high-yielding strains of crops.

And maybe it did; but then we had to keep feeding them—or should I say us? In the meantime it had been discovered that the pesticides and herbicides were killing off vast swaths of wildlife, and the high-yield monoculture crops were wrecking both the health of the soil and the crop diversity, which in previous centuries had helped prevent the spread of disease and reduced the likelihood of crop failure.

It is in this context that we now have to listen to lectures from the neo-environmentalists and others insisting that GM crops are a moral obligation if we want to feed the world and save the planet: precisely the arguments that were made last time around. GM crops are an attempt to solve the problems caused by the last progress trap; they are also the next one. Perhaps it will be vat-grown meat, or synthetic wheat, or some nano-bio-gubbins as yet unthought of. Either way, it will be vital for growth and progress, and a moral necessity. It is far too late to think about dismantling this machine in a rational manner—and in any case who wants to?

Those benefits are what keep us largely quiet and uncomplaining as the machine rolls on, in the words of the poet R. The machine appeared In the distance, singing to itself Of money. Its song was the web They were caught in, men and women Together. The villages were as flies To be sucked empty. God secreted A tear. Enough, enough, He commanded, but the machine Looked at him and went on singing.

Many of those pieces will be picked up and hoarded by the growing ranks of the neo-environmentalists. The mainstream of the green movement has laid itself open to their advances in recent years with its obsessive focus on carbon and energy technologies and its refusal to speak up for a subjective, vernacular, nontechnical engagement with nature. The neo-environmentalists have a great advantage over the old greens, with their threatening talk about limits to growth, behavior change, and other such against-the-grain stuff: they are telling this civilization what it wants to hear.

What it wants to hear is that the progress trap in which our civilization is caught can be escaped from by inflating a green tech bubble on which we can sail merrily into the future, happy as gods and equally in control. In the short term, the future belongs to the neo-environmentalists, and it is going to be painful to watch. Firstly, that bubbles always burst. Our civilization is beginning to break down. We are at the start of an unfolding economic and social collapse, which may take decades or longer to play out—and which is playing out against the background of a planetary ecocide that nobody seems able to prevent.

We are not gods, and our machines will not get us off this hook, however clever they are and however much we would like to believe it. Our human relationship to the rest of nature is not akin to the analysis of bacteria in a petri dish; it is more like the complex, love-hate relationship we might have with lovers or parents or siblings.

It is who we are, unspoken and felt and frustrating and inspiring and vital and impossible to peer-review. You can reach part of it with the analytical mind, but the rest will remain buried in the ancient woodland floor of human evolution and in the depths of our old ape brains, which see in pictures and think in stories. Is it possible to read the words of someone like Theodore Kaczynski and be convinced by the case he makes, even as you reject what he did with the knowledge? Is it possible to look at human cultural evolution as a series of progress traps, the latest of which you are caught in like a fly on a sundew, with no means of escape?

Is it possible to observe the unfolding human attack on nature with horror, be determined to do whatever you can to stop it, and at the same time know that much of it cannot be stopped, whatever you do? Is it possible to see the future as dark and darkening further; to reject false hope and desperate pseudo-optimism without collapsing into despair? But where do I go next? What do I do? Between Kaczynski and Kareiva, what can I find to alight on that will still hold my weight? But I know there is no going back to anything.

And I know that we are not headed, now, toward convivial tools. We are not headed toward human-scale development. This culture is about superstores, not little shops; synthetic biology, not intentional community; brushcutters, not scythes. What does the near future look like? Some kind of fall back down to a lower level of civilizational complexity. Something like the storm that is now visibly brewing all around us. If you think you can magic us out of the progress trap with new ideas or new technologies, you are wasting your time.

If you think the machine can be reformed, tamed, or defanged, you will be wasting your time. If you draw up a great big plan for a better world based on science and rational argument, you will be wasting your time. If you try to live in the past, you will be wasting your time. If you romanticize hunting and gathering or send bombs to computer store owners, you will be wasting your time.

And so I ask myself: what, at this moment in history, would not be a waste of my time? And I arrive at five tentative answers:. One: Withdrawing. Withdraw not with cynicism, but with a questing mind. Withdraw so that you can allow yourself to sit back quietly and feel, intuit, work out what is right for you and what nature might need from you. Withdraw because refusing to help the machine advance—refusing to tighten the ratchet further—is a deeply moral position. Withdraw because action is not always more effective than inaction.

Withdraw to examine your worldview: the cosmology, the paradigm, the assumptions, the direction of travel. All real change starts with withdrawal. Two: Preserving nonhuman life. The revisionists will continue to tell us that wildness is dead, nature is for people, and Progress is God, and they will continue to be wrong.

The human empire is the greatest threat to what remains of life on earth, and you are part of it. What can you do—really do, at a practical level—about this? Maybe you can buy up some land and rewild it; maybe you can let your garden run free; maybe you can work for a conservation group or set one up yourself; maybe you can put your body in the way of a bulldozer; maybe you can use your skills to prevent the destruction of yet another wild place.

Three: Getting your hands dirty. Root yourself in something: some practical work, some place, some way of doing. Pick up your scythe or your equivalent and get out there and do physical work in clean air surrounded by things you cannot control. Get away from your laptop and throw away your smartphone, if you have one.

Ground yourself in things and places, learn or practice human-scale convivial skills. Four: Insisting that nature has a value beyond utility. And telling everyone. Remember that you are one life-form among many and understand that everything has intrinsic value. If you want to call it something else, do that. If you want to look to tribal societies for your inspiration, do it. If that seems too gooey, just look up into the sky. Sit on the grass, touch a tree trunk, walk into the hills, dig in the garden, look at what you find in the soil, marvel at what the hell this thing called life could possibly be.

Value it for what it is, try to understand what it is, and have nothing but pity or contempt for people who tell you that its only value is in what they can extract from it. Five: Building refuges. The coming decades are likely to challenge much of what we think we know about what progress is, and about who we are in relation to the rest of nature. Advanced technologies will challenge our sense of what it means to be human at the same time as the tide of extinction rolls on.

The ongoing collapse of social and economic infrastructures, and of the web of life itself, will kill off much of what we value. In this context, ask yourself: what power do you have to preserve what is of value—creatures, skills, things, places? Can you work, with others or alone, to create places or networks that act as refuges from the unfolding storm?

Can you think, or act, like the librarian of a monastery through the Dark Ages, guarding the old books as empires rise and fall outside? It will be apparent by now that in these last five paragraphs I have been talking to myself. These are the things that make sense to me right now when I think about what is coming and what I can do, still, with some joy and determination.

But there has to be something beyond despair too; or rather, something that accompanies it, like a companion on the road. This is my approach, right now. It is, I suppose, the development of a personal philosophy for a dark time: a dark ecology. None of it is going to save the world—but then there is no saving the world, and the ones who say there is are the ones you need to save it from. My head is buzzing with it. I am going to pick up my new scythe, lovingly made for me from sugar maple, a beautiful object in itself, which I can just look at for hours.

I am going to pick it up and go out and find some grass to mow. I am going to cut great swaths of it, my blade gliding through the vegetation, leaving it in elegant curving windrows behind me. I am going to walk ahead, following the ground, emptying my head, managing the land, not like a god but like a tenant. I am going to breathe the still-clean air and listen to the still-singing birds and reflect on the fact that the earth is older and harder than the machine that is eating it—that it is indeed more resilient than fragile—and that change comes quickly when it comes, and that knowledge is not the same as wisdom.

A scythe is an old tool, but it has changed through its millennia of existence, changed and adapted as surely as have the humans who wield it and the grasses it is designed to mow. Like a microchip or a combustion engine, it is a technology that has allowed us to manipulate and control our environment, and to accelerate the rate of that manipulation and control. A scythe, too, is a progress trap. But it is limited enough in its speed and application to allow that control to be exercised in a way that is understandable by, and accountable to, individual human beings.

It is a compromise we can control, as much as we can ever control anything; a stage on the journey we can still understand. There is always change, as a neo-environmentalist would happily tell you; but there are different qualities of change. There is human-scale change, and there is industrial-scale change; there is change led by the needs of complex systems, and change led by the needs of individual humans.

There is a manageable rate of evolution, and there is a chaotic, excitable rush toward shiny things perched on the edge of a great ravine, flashing and scrolling like sirens in the gathering dusk. When you have mown a hayfield, you should turn and look back on your work admiringly. If you have got it right, you should see a field lined with long, curving windrows of cut grass, with clean, mown strips between them. If you were up at dawn, mowing in the dew—the best time, and the traditional one to cut for hay—you should leave the windrows to dry in the sun, then go down the rows with a pitchfork later in the day and turn them over.

Dry it for a few hours or a few days, depending on the weather, then come back and turn it over again.

Give it as much time as it needs to dry in the sun. Kingsworth, you have quite the ability to give me goosebumps and make me question everything I do. Thank you for this essay — it has restored some degree of faith that there are things that can be done. Coming back into my own body, and learning to interact on a direct and visceral level with the world around me, has proven to be the most comforting and satisfying thing I can do.

Thank you again for your words. Even when you think you might sound cynical and not relatable to the younger generation, know that there are people like me who find guidance in your experience and contemplations. Bill Joy, the chief scientist of Sun Microsystems and creator of Java also found Kaczynski a source of insight, particularly with regard to recognizing the machine as becoming more and more the active agent of control or at least influence. I think Kingsworth has written a terrifically thoughtful and provocative piece. If I have one criticism it is that he simply writes off all within-the-system solutions.

Like most environmentalists he takes a pass on overpopulation and efforts to address it, something that activist groups and nations from time to time have attempted to deal with. Kingsworth is happy that the treated water he drinks is cholera free. Is it really that hard to say that the society we live in that will probably take us off the cliff has at least concentrated some of the surpluses it has gouged out of nature into knowledge that we can hopefully walk back to a simpler, more sustainable life?

I appreciate the attempt to offer active alternatives, rather than simply leaving us high and dry with a lot of thoughtful negatives. One alternative which is implied in 5 but not really focused on is building self-sustaining alternative communities. From my background one interest I would have would be in sailing craft. Like Orlov, I think it is bound to make a comeback as the main vehicle of ocean transportation. Kingsworth you come across as a work in progress.

I hope you will keep updating and refining your thinking here as long as the world allows it. Your dark ecology meditations certainly stimulate my thinking. I am writing a book called Dark Ecology, strangely enough. Because of some talks I did recently, John Zerzan started writing to me, out of the blue. This is an amazing piece. Thank you, thank you. You express much of what goes on inside my tangled mind and sad heart.

I lived a much more intimate and reverent lifestyle before the computer invaded my life. I have spent over 2 decades in technology as an artist and designer and for the past several years I have been experiencing a deep existential anxiety. One of my favorite reads is this interview with Norman Mailer shortly before he passed. Another great essay.

I enjoy your writing so much Mr. Kingsworth— its like having my innermost feelings, thoughts and ideas given voice in a profoundly eloquent, erudite and insighful way. It is truly comforting to know there is another human being out there who sees the mess in the same way and has arrived at many of the same conclusions and course of action. I hope you will consider putting out a collection of your brilliant and insightful essays.

They really do deserve such treatment. The risk for all published writers is that they keep issuing the same ideas, without much in the way of back-and-forth, or any of the sparks of illumination. Kingsowrth has said much of this before, but his particualr retreatism is not going to remake the green posture. Banish the telly, scythe your life away — but social reality is all that will be set upon the earth by our species, and there is no way to wish away the trappings of modern civilization — the figures of energy use and environmental collapse are too stark for any of this advice.

No matter much Orion and McKibben and Kingsnorth and any of the merry brand of green spiritual gurus try, this is a global corporate suspersysem we all are subject to, in whole or in part or just the majority of our neighbors, and that absorbs any of this as it heads, over the larger scale beyond our own lives, to its logical destination.

This is all offered in the spirit of generosity — Kingsnorth and a few others here are trying to make sense of this disconnection they feel, here amidst the spiritualists, but he is flailing jsut like the rest of us. Nevertheless is great hearing armonic foreign words from the distance. These guys seem so right it worries me deeply. It is a pity you took away none of the points that the author has made. Your criticisms — and cynicism — are discussed throughout the article.

It is a challenging piece — but while you may have trouble accepting some of the premises, I urge you to not idly dismiss them. An Internet comment challenge should be responded to — the fate of the world depends on this. GEF is wrong to cast my words aside as rank and empty cynicism.

Kingsnorth becomes infatuated with the Unabomber. Unfortunately, this is a wrong premise for extensive thinking. Like the stupefying Derrick Jensen, the Unabomber believes one central fallacy — that violence directed the supersystem will somehow lead to its breakdown. Anyone who wants to consider this angle is not dealing with social reality.

The Unabomer killed people for no end — no benefit for the natural world, anywhere. Individuals persist in seeing themselves as somehow above or beyond this supersystem, but they are not. Orion is major environmental site- at least Kingsnorth has some second thoughts about becoming enmeshed in the fallacies of green neoliberalism, but, judging by this essay, he still has a ways to go. He is trying to deal with the brute facts of our predicament, but he is following a well-worn, dubious path of heroic simplicity. Thank you for this lovely essay.

Thank you for putting into focus so clearly what my concerns have been. Your answers have given me much to think about. Else we might have saved some of what made such a time worth living in. Something similar could be said for our economy. It begins as our servant and then becomes our master. The point is, somehow human agency gets lost as we become entangled in our own clever inventions. Between them, technology and our economic system are riding roughshod over everything that makes human life, and all Life, worthwhile, and we seem powerless to stop it.

It said: Nature Bats Last. I take that as an article of faith. I wonder if I am alone in believing that a total collapse of the global industrial economy would be the very best thing for the Community of Life, for Mother Earth or Gaia , and maybe even for a possible human future?

When I assume my larger identity, and not just that of a single individual of one particular species; that is, when I identify with all of Life, and all the abundance, complexity, and diversity that four billion years of evolutionary history managed to create, before we came along; I find it painful, but not unthinkable, to contemplate a world in balance and thriving, and better off, without us; and preferring that world to the one we are ruining now. But if it is, I side with Life that thrives in beauty.

Too smart for our own good, and too weak to take on our own earth-devouring culture. I guess we deserve what we get! Nature bats last. The global economy is in terrible shape, producing mass immiseration for the majority, ladling out yachts for the marauding rich, but the benefits of technology will be clung to until its the the lasr remaining social good. Species extinction, which we have caused more than any other predator, as you put it well, is not a happy time for the species going under.

We are adaptable as social life forms with a rich history of perseverance, but the coming adaptation to climate catastrophe and the horrors of malevolent institutions will require managing heartlessness, despair, self-limitation. I understand that Orion is a cheap target, being a shoestring operation that generally tries to do more good for humanity than bad, but most anger gets expressed within the family. Loaded with heavy, difficult, yet inspiring ideas. There is no looking back in a complete sense, but there is certainly no hope in a high-tech future — an exceedingly tenuous, potentially doomed balancing act for activated humans.

Every hyper-sensitive being on this planet must fight apathy and the tug of prevailing currents if there is any hope for our own future. Given some time, the biosphere will chug on just fine, thank you…. Martin: I think you miss my point about the desirability of an immediate collapse of the global industrial economy. Yes, of course, it would be more than an inconvenience to us, but according to my sources, that is about all, at this late stage, that gives this planet any chance at all of not going into catastrophic collapse.

Most climate models being used today do not include positive feedback loops brought on by the uncovering of peat bogs in Siberia and methane release in the arctic, due to ice melt. Methane, by the way, is in the short term about a hundred times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon. If, for instance, we were by some sweet miracle to immediately lose electricity globally, that would slow down our poisoning and devouring of the planet to the point that it might actually not lose all four billion years of evolutionary creativity.

Yes, I know, it would really spoil our wonderful high-tech way of life, and make kind of a mess for us in the short term. And do we honestly believe that everything else can go down, and we will stand here alone, triumphant on our poisonous heap of destruction? Everything is connected to everything else. When the Earth goes down we go down with it.

That never gets put on the human balance sheet, but the economy of Nature feels the loss that comes with our short term gains. To me, your opinion sounds like dogma based on the doctrines of reductionist, materialist science. I am seventy years old, and have by choice spent most of my life living very close to Nature. I know what I have seen and experienced, and know there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in materialist philosophy. You, of course, are free to have your own opinion.

Special as we think we are, we are not equipped to encompass the Mystery. I suspect Martin is not whole heartedly trying to discredit any of the folks who think there are opportunities to shift the paradigm, but rather make the point that the strength of the dominant system is so powerful, so overwhelming that the likelihood of making ground with even well thought out ideas, is not likely. Yes, he may be implying it is a waist of time and I have strong suspicions he is correct. I suspect, like many, that it will all come down to the local systems, the ones closest to us that will carry the day.

Having a pie-in-the-sky dream of changing the world and the masses in it many are illiterate, many too engulfed in their day to day, many in a euphoric trans state over the glories of techno-trumphalistic pipe dream, multitudes of religious wet dreamers is not really possible. Obviously, Kingsworth is also struggling and like many writers, and the list is long, at the end of their writings, toss out a couple of possibilities just as a way of appeasing the dreamers, maybe just tidbits of thought food, knowing that the odds are not in our favor.

Nature will bat last and she might clean out the stadium doing it. With luck, the system will slowly decline under the load of depletions, misuse, mis-allocations, over population, pollution and other maladies brought on by the system. Those folks not suffering from rectal-cranial inversion and possessing proper placement, and raw living knowledge may fare better than others. There will be peripheral damage to all species. Great, well-written article. And I do appreciate his helpful suggestions. We need to be able, expert, at joining together! That is, forging cooperation, indeed going back to tribal forms of joining together.

Whether our species survive on earth or perish, in the short term all the possible ameliorations we can try will depend on cooperation, both in the long and short term, on a huge scale. We have to take it back. And we could if we could join together, because I believe there are enough who believe in the climate crisis now, especially in the poor nations, many of which are closer to destruction than we lucky few.

The latest US election gives cause for hope — not because of Obama but in spite of him. The hopeful thing is that the poor, the brown, the black, the women, the gays coalesced against the forces of prejudice, and denial; that is, against the fascists, and that will bring some change for many of us. Gotta work on that,too! Kingsworth, good for you to share your thoughts and to sharpen the tools of scholarship to amplify them.

When I think of Kaczynski, I think of cowardice, brutality, and villainy, not clarity in service of conviviality. Imagine some trivial, off-campus Reaganite opening what he thought was a gift-book only to marvel, in the millisecond before oblivion or blindness, at the use of green materials, recycled wood chips even, before the cleverly contrived environmental statement detonated in his face.

Surprise, you un-tenured boob! Better yet, imagine his children, mere nascent machine-cogs, discovering the cute, little, disguised manifesto before daddy does. Damn, these math majors are clever. But we expect sharpness from men of Harvard. I guess the raw beauty of wreaking havoc, the who, the why, the where, is in the eye of the beholder.

I get it. The homicidal hermit has something to teach us. Why mess with letters to the editor when anonymous, random violence can correct our civilization and its misguided ways. Have we overlooked unsung prophets from other campuses? Where did Ted Bundy go to school?

What about Charlie Manson? He lived in the desert. Maybe a retro-album on the evils of urbanization and chain-store proliferation? Guy McPherson has chosen to disengage himself from the economy, which is a private, psychological matter — of utterly no consequence to the natural world that you and I speak of.

Global emissions of fossil fuels are rising, and poised to rise much higher. Religious terms are just empty words — but we do live with irrational drives, insticts, emotions. No one deserves too much credit for any of these lifelong attempts, since we are in such dire straits.

David M. I wish to underscore and uplift all the affirmative comments regarding your magnificent work here. Magnificent, yes, I say, because it most clearly elucidates the very things that have bedeviled me for more years than you have been alive. I have not reproduced.

My biggest gift to the future is that my minimal carbon footprint ends with me. MANY of my friends, college educated and upper middle class, are also childless I know the standard warnings against this tack. But I could not have a grandchild living in the world I know to be coming. And just a selfish comment: I do believe Nature can survive all that humans can do to her. Of course, how not? A tsunami is one way of cleansing your home but is hell on the French Provincial furniture.

As we wreck our way to the end only to prove that we will loose the fight against Her, the tigers, the frogs, the giant Sequoias will go down first. Who the hell do we think we are? It is not at all hard to see human consciousness as a lethal virus set loose on this exquisite planet. Kingsworth: I wrote a little homage to a singer of the scythe Hilaire Belloc whose distributism still has adherents. Keep it going. Marris and Brand take climate change very seriously, while Lomborg does not.

It made me happy to see this article, as with others the author put into words the feelings I have. We seem to be grieving our loss, in all the phases Kubler Ross identified. All five of his tentative answers are also mine; I wonder if our 25 year old will feel the same. He has a harder choice, he will see more of the dissolution, lose many more species, be tangled in more social disruption and disarray. Whether we like it, or not, we are a product of nature and nature has a dark side. It also developed levels of biological complexity hundreds of millions of years ago, that our technologies and societies are only now beginning to mimic.

We are cells in some larger organism. If I was to ask if nature has some larger, fractal plan, it would be that the planet is growing itself a central nervous system, with humanity as the medium. The problem is that information tends to be static. It holds and binds the energy required to maintain it. This sets up a conflict between the dynamic energy and the static information, so the system develops methods of reseting and erasing excess information.

Biology does this by individual organisms dying, as the species regenerates. Bodies are processes in themselves, as generations of cells are formed and shed.


  1. Atlas of Soft Tissue Tumor Pathology (Atlas of Anatomic Pathology).
  2. Collage of Myself: Walt Whitman and the Making of Leaves of Grass;
  3. Abracadabra! Magic with Mouse and Mole (A Mouse and Mole Story);

As our social institutions build up legacy costs, they also find themselves losing ground to less burdened, more dynamic entities. So there is a constant churn of structures building up and breaking down. Just as individual mobile organisms evolved central nervous systems in order to navigate complex environments and respond to circumstances, groups of people develop governing structures in order coordinate their responses to situations they encounter.

This requires a conceptual frame to define the purpose of the organization and instill allegiance, such as religious texts, national constitutions, or even company mission statements. Goals, group narratives, external adversaries, etc. There are many equally powerful influences both internal and external, trying to break down such organizations.

Even conflicts between keeping them together and continuing to fulfill original purposes can be rending, as management and vision clash. The problem here is that we tend to think of good and bad as an issue of black and white moral clarity, even if the details are usually messy and unclear.

While we instinctively think of good and bad as ideals, they are really the primal biological binary code. Life is attracted to the beneficial and repelled by the detrimental. What is bad for the chicken is good for the fox and there is no clear line where the chicken ends and the fox begins. Between black and white are not just shades of grey, but all the colors of the spectrum.

The price we pay for being able to feel in the first place, is that a lot of it is pain. There are consequences to consider when we are moving; The faster we go, the less able we are to maneuver and the greater damage when we encounter the unexpected. Going slow limits our access to new environments, but strengthens our connections to the one in which we exist. It is drawing rights on the rest of the community. Its value stems from the willingness of the participants in that contract to honor it. Contracts are not owned by any one party. They are an agreement among different parties.

To the extent the financial system is the circulatory system of society, money is the blood flowing through it. Its effectiveness is dependent on its fungibility. We no more own the money in our pocket, than we own the road we are driving on. Yes, we are in sole possession of any one spot on that road at any one time, but its value is due to the connectivity with all other roads. We own our cars, houses, businesses, etc, but not the roads connecting them and no one cries socialism over that.

We have to think of money in the same way. If people understand that money is a form of public utility and not actually private property, then they will naturally be far more careful what value they take out of social relations and environmental resources to put in a bank account. I would say it is an evolved store of value, closer to a commodity. If money is worth something one day and loses value the next day, no contract is violated. This would be a terrific basis for a discussion. How much did civilization purposefully evolve and how much was it some kind of trial and error process, like say a beehive.

I think his main argument is a strong fossil fuel driven economy will, down the road, fund some bangup technological solutions to our environmental problems better and faster than a fossil fuel deprived weaker one. He seems to think our ability to adapt will carry us through the interim. Yet there are serious limits as to how much sustainable debt the economy can support, so there is pressure to lower standards, since stored wealth is very popular. Yet its value is an obligation drawn on the larger economy and that is a contract. So back to my point that if people began to understand it as a multi-party contract and not just some nebulous store of value, they would better understand how it functions and not be so naive as how the strings are pulled.

The essay puts this in a broader context than what I pasted. Remember withdrawing is merely moving in a different direction…that is the intelligent response. Brilliant essay. In the Costa Rica rainforest the equivalent to the scythe is the machete in all its manifestations. That makes sense John. I guess where I would put the emphasis is that borrowing operates on the expectation of economic growth. At some point that runs into limits and then you are operating on faith economics.

Achieving steady state economics restores money to its pure store of value function for facilitating barter in goods and services. Too busy selling articles on Orion? Not willing to rock the boat? OTP letter to senders re: Iraq, 9 February The Rendulic Rule set the legal precedent for the importance of the subjective test in determining a case of Military Necessity.

He presented evidence that the Norwegian population would not voluntarily evacuate. International law has justified, acquitted or given lenient sentences to violent and non-violent actions of civil disobedience, which included murder, kidnapping, arson, etc:. State, S. Ashton, 24 F. Mass No. Holmes, 26 F. Geary, 3 Cal. Anti Nuclear 10 : State v. Mouer Columbia Co. Brown Lake County, Jan. Block Galt Judicial Dist. Lemnitzer, No. McMillan, No. D San Luis Obispo Jud. Schaeffer-Duffy Worcester Dist. Hirshi, No. Valley Dept. Brown, No. Jerome, Nos. Karon, No. J Benton County Dist.

Keller, No. Jarka, Nos. Bock Denver County Ct. June 12, Anti-Military Industrial Complex 4 : Michigan v. Jones et al. Largrou, Nos. Carter, No. Fish Skokie Cir. Anti-Apartheid 3 : Chicago v. Streeter, Nos. May ; Washington v. Heller Seattle Mun. Bass, Nos. April 8, Halem, No. He nearly brought down an airplane….

I think Mr. Violence met with violence creates more violence. Non-violence actions, like putting yourself in the way of a bulldozer inspire others. Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace. But things change. Another orthodoxy is in its death throes. What happens next is what interests me, and worries me too. Writing is fulfilling too, intellectually and sometimes emotionally, but physically it is draining and boring: hours in front of computers or scribbling notes in books, or reading and thinking or attempting to think.

Mowing with a scythe shuts down the jabbering brain for a little while, or at least the rational part of it, leaving only the primitive part, the intuitive reptile consciousness, working fully. Using a scythe properly is a meditation: your body in tune with the tool, your tool in tune with the land. You concentrate without thinking, you follow the lay of the ground with the face of your blade, you are aware of the keenness of its edge, you can hear the birds, see things moving through the grass ahead of you. Focus—relaxed focus—is the key to mowing well.

Tolstoy, who obviously wrote from experience, explained it in Anna Karenina:. The longer Levin went on mowing, the oftener he experienced those moments of oblivion when his arms no longer seemed to swing the scythe, but the scythe itself his whole body, so conscious and full of life; and as if by magic, regularly and definitely without a thought being given to it, the work accomplished itself of its own accord. These were blessed moments. People come to my courses for all kinds of reasons, but most want to learn to use the tool for a practical purpose.

Sometimes they are managing wildlife reserves or golf courses. Some of them want to control sedge grass or nettles or brambles in their fields or gardens, or destroy couch grass on their allotments. Some of them want to trim lawns or verges. After all, we have weed whackers and lawnmowers now, and they are noisier than scythes and have buttons and use electricity or petrol and therefore they must perform better, right?

Now, I would say this of course, but no, it is not right. Certainly if you have a five-acre meadow and you want to cut the grass for hay or silage, you are going to get it done a lot quicker though not necessarily more efficiently with a tractor and cutter bar than you would with a scythe team, which is the way it was done before the s. Down at the human scale, though, the scythe still reigns supreme. A growing number of people I teach, for example, are looking for an alternative to a brushcutter.

A brushcutter is essentially a mechanical scythe. It is a great heavy piece of machinery that needs to be operated with both hands and requires its user to dress up like Darth Vader in order to swing it through the grass. It roars like a motorbike, belches out fumes, and requires a regular diet of fossil fuels. It hacks through the grass instead of slicing it cleanly like a scythe blade. It is more cumbersome, more dangerous, no faster, and far less pleasant to use than the tool it replaced. So why do people use it, and why do they still laugh at the scythe?

To ask that question in those terms is to misunderstand what is going on. Brushcutters are not used instead of scythes because they are better; they are used because their use is conditioned by our attitudes toward technology. Performance is not really the point, and neither is efficiency. Religion is the point: the religion of complexity. The myth of progress manifested in tool form. Plastic is better than wood. Moving parts are better than fixed parts. Noisy things are better than quiet things. Complicated things are better than simple things.

New things are better than old things. We all believe this, whether we like it or not. THE HOMELY, pipe-smoking, cob-and-straw visions of Illich and Schumacher take us back to what we would like to think was a kinder time: a time when no one was mailing out bombs in pursuit of a gentler world.

I sometimes like to say that the movement was born in the same year I was—, the year in which the fabled Limits to Growth report was commissioned by the Club of Rome—and this is near enough to the truth to be a jumping-off point for a narrative. If the green movement was born in the early s, then the s, when there were whales to be saved and rainforests to be campaigned for, were its adolescence. Its coming-of-age party was in , in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

The future looked bright for the greens back then. Two decades on, things look rather different. It was accompanied by the usual shrill demands for optimism and hope, but there was no disguising the hollowness of the exercise.

Orion Magazine | Dark Ecology

Every environmental problem identified at the original Earth Summit has gotten worse in the intervening twenty years, often very much worse, and there is no sign of this changing. The green movement, which seemed to be carrying all before it in the early s, has plunged into a full-on midlife crisis. There is no likelihood of the world going their way. In most green circles now, sooner or later, the conversation comes round to the same question: what the hell do we do next? There are plenty of people who think they know the answer to that question. One of them is Peter Kareiva, who would like to think that he and his kind represent the future of environmentalism, and who may turn out to be right.

Like the neoliberals, the neo-environmentalists are attempting to break through the lines of an old orthodoxy that is visibly exhausted and confused. Like the neoliberals, they are mostly American and mostly male, and they emphasize scientific measurement and economic analysis over other ways of seeing and measuring. Like the neoliberals, they are beginning to grow in numbers at a time of global collapse and uncertainty. And like the neoliberals, they think they have radical solutions. He is an outspoken former conservationist who now believes that most of what the greens think they know is wrong.

Nature, he says, is more resilient than fragile; science proves it. As we destroy habitats, we create new ones. But Kareiva is not alone. North, Brian Clegg, and Wilfred Beckerman. Beyond the field of conservation, the neo-environmentalists are distinguished by their attitude toward new technologies, which they almost uniformly see as positive. Neo-environmentalists also tend to exhibit an excitable enthusiasm for markets. Tied in with this is an almost religious attitude toward the scientific method.

Everything that matters can be measured by science and priced by markets, and any claims without numbers attached can be easily dismissed. Some of this might be shocking to some old-guard greens—which is the point—but it is hardly a new message. In fact, it is a very old one; it is simply a variant on the old Wellsian techno-optimism that has been promising us cornucopia for over a century.

But though they burn with the shouty fervor of the born-again, the neo-environmentalists are not exactly wrong. In fact, they are at least half right. They are right to say that the human-scale, convivial approaches of those s thinkers are never going to work if the world continues to formulate itself according to the demands of late capitalist industrialism. They are right to say that a world of 9 billion people all seeking the status of middle-class consumers cannot be sustained by vernacular approaches.

They are right to say that the human impact on the planet is enormous and irreversible. They are right to say that traditional conservation efforts sometimes idealized a preindustrial nature. They are right to say that the campaigns of green NGOs often exaggerate and dissemble. And they are right to say that the greens have hit a wall, and that continuing to ram their heads against it is not going to knock it down. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature.

What they did believe was that there were still large-scale, functioning ecosystems that were worth getting out of bed to protect from destruction. To understand why, consider the case of the Amazon. What do we value about the Amazon forest? It is lived in and off of by humans, but it is not created or controlled by them.

It teems with a great, shifting, complex diversity of both human and nonhuman life, and no species dominates the mix. It is a complex, working ecosystem that is also a human-culture-system, because in any kind of worthwhile world, the two are linked. This is what intelligent green thinking has always called for: human and nonhuman nature working in some degree of harmony, in a modern world of compromise and change in which some principles, nevertheless, are worth cleaving to.

The neo-environmentalists, needless to say, have no time for this kind of fluff. Conservation will measure its achievement in large part by its relevance to people. There it is, in black and white: the wild is dead, and what remains of nature is for people. We can effectively do what we like, and we should. Science says so! By the time this is realized—if it ever is—it is too late to change course.

The earliest example he gives is the improvement in hunting techniques in the Upper Paleolithic era, around fifteen thousand years ago. Wright tracks the disappearance of wildlife on a vast scale whenever prehistoric humans arrived on a new continent. The perfection of hunting spelled the end of hunting as a way of life.

Easy meat meant more babies. More babies meant more hunters. More hunters, sooner or later, meant less game. Most of the great human migrations across the world at this time must have been driven by want, as we bankrupted the land with our moveable feasts. This is the progress trap. Each improvement in our knowledge or in our technology will create new problems, which require new improvements.

Each of these improvements tends to make society bigger, more complex, less human-scale, more destructive of nonhuman life, and more likely to collapse under its own weight. This is the same attitude that makes us assume that a brushcutter is a better way of mowing grass than a scythe, and it seems to be equally erroneous. As Wells demonstrates, analysis of the skeletal remains of people living before and after the transition to agriculture during the Paleolithic demonstrate something remarkable: an all-around collapse in quality of life when farming was adopted. Hunter-gatherers living during the Paleolithic period, between 30, and 9, BCE, were on average taller—and thus, by implication, healthier—than any people since, including people living in late twentieth-century America.

Their median life span was higher than at any period for the next six thousand years, and their health, as estimated by measuring the pelvic inlet depth of their skeletons, appears to have been better, again, than at any period since—including the present day. This collapse in individual well-being was likely due to the fact that settled agricultural life is physically harder and more disease-ridden than the life of a shifting hunter-gatherer community.

So much for progress. But why in this case, Wells asks, would any community move from hunting and gathering to agriculture? The answer seems to be: not because they wanted to, but because they had to. They had spelled the end of their hunting and gathering lifestyle by getting too good at it. They had killed off most of their prey and expanded their numbers beyond the point at which they could all survive.


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  • They had fallen into a progress trap. We have been falling into them ever since. Look at the proposals of the neo-environmentalists in this light and you can see them as a series of attempts to dig us out of the progress traps that their predecessors knocked us into. At least in part because of the previous wave of agricultural improvements—the so-called Green Revolution, which between the s and s promoted a new form of agriculture that depended upon high levels of pesticides and herbicides, new agricultural technologies, and high-yielding strains of crops.

    And maybe it did; but then we had to keep feeding them—or should I say us? In the meantime it had been discovered that the pesticides and herbicides were killing off vast swaths of wildlife, and the high-yield monoculture crops were wrecking both the health of the soil and the crop diversity, which in previous centuries had helped prevent the spread of disease and reduced the likelihood of crop failure.

    It is in this context that we now have to listen to lectures from the neo-environmentalists and others insisting that GM crops are a moral obligation if we want to feed the world and save the planet: precisely the arguments that were made last time around. GM crops are an attempt to solve the problems caused by the last progress trap; they are also the next one. Perhaps it will be vat-grown meat, or synthetic wheat, or some nano-bio-gubbins as yet unthought of. Either way, it will be vital for growth and progress, and a moral necessity.

    It is far too late to think about dismantling this machine in a rational manner—and in any case who wants to? Those benefits are what keep us largely quiet and uncomplaining as the machine rolls on, in the words of the poet R. The machine appeared In the distance, singing to itself Of money. Its song was the web They were caught in, men and women Together. The villages were as flies To be sucked empty.

    God secreted A tear. Enough, enough, He commanded, but the machine Looked at him and went on singing. Many of those pieces will be picked up and hoarded by the growing ranks of the neo-environmentalists. The mainstream of the green movement has laid itself open to their advances in recent years with its obsessive focus on carbon and energy technologies and its refusal to speak up for a subjective, vernacular, nontechnical engagement with nature. The neo-environmentalists have a great advantage over the old greens, with their threatening talk about limits to growth, behavior change, and other such against-the-grain stuff: they are telling this civilization what it wants to hear.

    What it wants to hear is that the progress trap in which our civilization is caught can be escaped from by inflating a green tech bubble on which we can sail merrily into the future, happy as gods and equally in control. In the short term, the future belongs to the neo-environmentalists, and it is going to be painful to watch.

    Firstly, that bubbles always burst. Our civilization is beginning to break down. We are at the start of an unfolding economic and social collapse, which may take decades or longer to play out—and which is playing out against the background of a planetary ecocide that nobody seems able to prevent. We are not gods, and our machines will not get us off this hook, however clever they are and however much we would like to believe it. Our human relationship to the rest of nature is not akin to the analysis of bacteria in a petri dish; it is more like the complex, love-hate relationship we might have with lovers or parents or siblings.

    It is who we are, unspoken and felt and frustrating and inspiring and vital and impossible to peer-review. You can reach part of it with the analytical mind, but the rest will remain buried in the ancient woodland floor of human evolution and in the depths of our old ape brains, which see in pictures and think in stories.

    Is it possible to read the words of someone like Theodore Kaczynski and be convinced by the case he makes, even as you reject what he did with the knowledge? Is it possible to look at human cultural evolution as a series of progress traps, the latest of which you are caught in like a fly on a sundew, with no means of escape? Is it possible to observe the unfolding human attack on nature with horror, be determined to do whatever you can to stop it, and at the same time know that much of it cannot be stopped, whatever you do?

    Is it possible to see the future as dark and darkening further; to reject false hope and desperate pseudo-optimism without collapsing into despair? But where do I go next?

    W.N.P. BARBELLION

    What do I do? Between Kaczynski and Kareiva, what can I find to alight on that will still hold my weight? But I know there is no going back to anything. And I know that we are not headed, now, toward convivial tools. We are not headed toward human-scale development.

    This culture is about superstores, not little shops; synthetic biology, not intentional community; brushcutters, not scythes. What does the near future look like? Some kind of fall back down to a lower level of civilizational complexity. Something like the storm that is now visibly brewing all around us. If you think you can magic us out of the progress trap with new ideas or new technologies, you are wasting your time.

    If you think the machine can be reformed, tamed, or defanged, you will be wasting your time. If you draw up a great big plan for a better world based on science and rational argument, you will be wasting your time. If you try to live in the past, you will be wasting your time. If you romanticize hunting and gathering or send bombs to computer store owners, you will be wasting your time.

    And so I ask myself: what, at this moment in history, would not be a waste of my time? And I arrive at five tentative answers:. One: Withdrawing. Withdraw not with cynicism, but with a questing mind. Withdraw so that you can allow yourself to sit back quietly and feel, intuit, work out what is right for you and what nature might need from you. Withdraw because refusing to help the machine advance—refusing to tighten the ratchet further—is a deeply moral position. Withdraw because action is not always more effective than inaction.

    Withdraw to examine your worldview: the cosmology, the paradigm, the assumptions, the direction of travel. All real change starts with withdrawal. Two: Preserving nonhuman life. The revisionists will continue to tell us that wildness is dead, nature is for people, and Progress is God, and they will continue to be wrong. The human empire is the greatest threat to what remains of life on earth, and you are part of it. What can you do—really do, at a practical level—about this? Maybe you can buy up some land and rewild it; maybe you can let your garden run free; maybe you can work for a conservation group or set one up yourself; maybe you can put your body in the way of a bulldozer; maybe you can use your skills to prevent the destruction of yet another wild place.

    Three: Getting your hands dirty. Root yourself in something: some practical work, some place, some way of doing. Pick up your scythe or your equivalent and get out there and do physical work in clean air surrounded by things you cannot control. Get away from your laptop and throw away your smartphone, if you have one. Ground yourself in things and places, learn or practice human-scale convivial skills. Four: Insisting that nature has a value beyond utility. And telling everyone. Remember that you are one life-form among many and understand that everything has intrinsic value.

    If you want to call it something else, do that. If you want to look to tribal societies for your inspiration, do it. If that seems too gooey, just look up into the sky. Sit on the grass, touch a tree trunk, walk into the hills, dig in the garden, look at what you find in the soil, marvel at what the hell this thing called life could possibly be.

    Free Thought Lives

    Value it for what it is, try to understand what it is, and have nothing but pity or contempt for people who tell you that its only value is in what they can extract from it. Five: Building refuges. The coming decades are likely to challenge much of what we think we know about what progress is, and about who we are in relation to the rest of nature. Advanced technologies will challenge our sense of what it means to be human at the same time as the tide of extinction rolls on.

    The ongoing collapse of social and economic infrastructures, and of the web of life itself, will kill off much of what we value. In this context, ask yourself: what power do you have to preserve what is of value—creatures, skills, things, places? Can you work, with others or alone, to create places or networks that act as refuges from the unfolding storm? Can you think, or act, like the librarian of a monastery through the Dark Ages, guarding the old books as empires rise and fall outside? It will be apparent by now that in these last five paragraphs I have been talking to myself.

    These are the things that make sense to me right now when I think about what is coming and what I can do, still, with some joy and determination. But there has to be something beyond despair too; or rather, something that accompanies it, like a companion on the road. This is my approach, right now. It is, I suppose, the development of a personal philosophy for a dark time: a dark ecology.

    None of it is going to save the world—but then there is no saving the world, and the ones who say there is are the ones you need to save it from. My head is buzzing with it. I am going to pick up my new scythe, lovingly made for me from sugar maple, a beautiful object in itself, which I can just look at for hours. I am going to pick it up and go out and find some grass to mow.

    I am going to cut great swaths of it, my blade gliding through the vegetation, leaving it in elegant curving windrows behind me. I am going to walk ahead, following the ground, emptying my head, managing the land, not like a god but like a tenant. I am going to breathe the still-clean air and listen to the still-singing birds and reflect on the fact that the earth is older and harder than the machine that is eating it—that it is indeed more resilient than fragile—and that change comes quickly when it comes, and that knowledge is not the same as wisdom.

    A scythe is an old tool, but it has changed through its millennia of existence, changed and adapted as surely as have the humans who wield it and the grasses it is designed to mow. Like a microchip or a combustion engine, it is a technology that has allowed us to manipulate and control our environment, and to accelerate the rate of that manipulation and control. A scythe, too, is a progress trap. But it is limited enough in its speed and application to allow that control to be exercised in a way that is understandable by, and accountable to, individual human beings.

    It is a compromise we can control, as much as we can ever control anything; a stage on the journey we can still understand. There is always change, as a neo-environmentalist would happily tell you; but there are different qualities of change. There is human-scale change, and there is industrial-scale change; there is change led by the needs of complex systems, and change led by the needs of individual humans. There is a manageable rate of evolution, and there is a chaotic, excitable rush toward shiny things perched on the edge of a great ravine, flashing and scrolling like sirens in the gathering dusk.

    When you have mown a hayfield, you should turn and look back on your work admiringly. If you have got it right, you should see a field lined with long, curving windrows of cut grass, with clean, mown strips between them. If you were up at dawn, mowing in the dew—the best time, and the traditional one to cut for hay—you should leave the windrows to dry in the sun, then go down the rows with a pitchfork later in the day and turn them over.

    Dry it for a few hours or a few days, depending on the weather, then come back and turn it over again. Give it as much time as it needs to dry in the sun. Kingsworth, you have quite the ability to give me goosebumps and make me question everything I do.

    Thank you for this essay — it has restored some degree of faith that there are things that can be done. Coming back into my own body, and learning to interact on a direct and visceral level with the world around me, has proven to be the most comforting and satisfying thing I can do. Thank you again for your words. Even when you think you might sound cynical and not relatable to the younger generation, know that there are people like me who find guidance in your experience and contemplations. Bill Joy, the chief scientist of Sun Microsystems and creator of Java also found Kaczynski a source of insight, particularly with regard to recognizing the machine as becoming more and more the active agent of control or at least influence.

    I think Kingsworth has written a terrifically thoughtful and provocative piece. If I have one criticism it is that he simply writes off all within-the-system solutions. Like most environmentalists he takes a pass on overpopulation and efforts to address it, something that activist groups and nations from time to time have attempted to deal with. Kingsworth is happy that the treated water he drinks is cholera free.

    Is it really that hard to say that the society we live in that will probably take us off the cliff has at least concentrated some of the surpluses it has gouged out of nature into knowledge that we can hopefully walk back to a simpler, more sustainable life? I appreciate the attempt to offer active alternatives, rather than simply leaving us high and dry with a lot of thoughtful negatives. One alternative which is implied in 5 but not really focused on is building self-sustaining alternative communities. From my background one interest I would have would be in sailing craft. Like Orlov, I think it is bound to make a comeback as the main vehicle of ocean transportation.

    Kingsworth you come across as a work in progress. I hope you will keep updating and refining your thinking here as long as the world allows it. Your dark ecology meditations certainly stimulate my thinking. I am writing a book called Dark Ecology, strangely enough. Because of some talks I did recently, John Zerzan started writing to me, out of the blue. This is an amazing piece. Thank you, thank you. You express much of what goes on inside my tangled mind and sad heart. I lived a much more intimate and reverent lifestyle before the computer invaded my life.

    I have spent over 2 decades in technology as an artist and designer and for the past several years I have been experiencing a deep existential anxiety. One of my favorite reads is this interview with Norman Mailer shortly before he passed. Another great essay. I enjoy your writing so much Mr. Kingsworth— its like having my innermost feelings, thoughts and ideas given voice in a profoundly eloquent, erudite and insighful way. It is truly comforting to know there is another human being out there who sees the mess in the same way and has arrived at many of the same conclusions and course of action.

    I hope you will consider putting out a collection of your brilliant and insightful essays. They really do deserve such treatment. The risk for all published writers is that they keep issuing the same ideas, without much in the way of back-and-forth, or any of the sparks of illumination.

    Kingsowrth has said much of this before, but his particualr retreatism is not going to remake the green posture. Banish the telly, scythe your life away — but social reality is all that will be set upon the earth by our species, and there is no way to wish away the trappings of modern civilization — the figures of energy use and environmental collapse are too stark for any of this advice. No matter much Orion and McKibben and Kingsnorth and any of the merry brand of green spiritual gurus try, this is a global corporate suspersysem we all are subject to, in whole or in part or just the majority of our neighbors, and that absorbs any of this as it heads, over the larger scale beyond our own lives, to its logical destination.

    This is all offered in the spirit of generosity — Kingsnorth and a few others here are trying to make sense of this disconnection they feel, here amidst the spiritualists, but he is flailing jsut like the rest of us. Nevertheless is great hearing armonic foreign words from the distance. These guys seem so right it worries me deeply. It is a pity you took away none of the points that the author has made. Your criticisms — and cynicism — are discussed throughout the article.

    It is a challenging piece — but while you may have trouble accepting some of the premises, I urge you to not idly dismiss them. An Internet comment challenge should be responded to — the fate of the world depends on this. GEF is wrong to cast my words aside as rank and empty cynicism. Kingsnorth becomes infatuated with the Unabomber. Unfortunately, this is a wrong premise for extensive thinking. Like the stupefying Derrick Jensen, the Unabomber believes one central fallacy — that violence directed the supersystem will somehow lead to its breakdown.

    Anyone who wants to consider this angle is not dealing with social reality. The Unabomer killed people for no end — no benefit for the natural world, anywhere. Individuals persist in seeing themselves as somehow above or beyond this supersystem, but they are not. Orion is major environmental site- at least Kingsnorth has some second thoughts about becoming enmeshed in the fallacies of green neoliberalism, but, judging by this essay, he still has a ways to go.

    He is trying to deal with the brute facts of our predicament, but he is following a well-worn, dubious path of heroic simplicity. Thank you for this lovely essay. Thank you for putting into focus so clearly what my concerns have been. Your answers have given me much to think about. Else we might have saved some of what made such a time worth living in. Something similar could be said for our economy. It begins as our servant and then becomes our master. The point is, somehow human agency gets lost as we become entangled in our own clever inventions. Between them, technology and our economic system are riding roughshod over everything that makes human life, and all Life, worthwhile, and we seem powerless to stop it.

    It said: Nature Bats Last. I take that as an article of faith. I wonder if I am alone in believing that a total collapse of the global industrial economy would be the very best thing for the Community of Life, for Mother Earth or Gaia , and maybe even for a possible human future? When I assume my larger identity, and not just that of a single individual of one particular species; that is, when I identify with all of Life, and all the abundance, complexity, and diversity that four billion years of evolutionary history managed to create, before we came along; I find it painful, but not unthinkable, to contemplate a world in balance and thriving, and better off, without us; and preferring that world to the one we are ruining now.

    But if it is, I side with Life that thrives in beauty. Too smart for our own good, and too weak to take on our own earth-devouring culture. I guess we deserve what we get! Nature bats last. The global economy is in terrible shape, producing mass immiseration for the majority, ladling out yachts for the marauding rich, but the benefits of technology will be clung to until its the the lasr remaining social good.

    Species extinction, which we have caused more than any other predator, as you put it well, is not a happy time for the species going under. We are adaptable as social life forms with a rich history of perseverance, but the coming adaptation to climate catastrophe and the horrors of malevolent institutions will require managing heartlessness, despair, self-limitation. I understand that Orion is a cheap target, being a shoestring operation that generally tries to do more good for humanity than bad, but most anger gets expressed within the family.

    Loaded with heavy, difficult, yet inspiring ideas. There is no looking back in a complete sense, but there is certainly no hope in a high-tech future — an exceedingly tenuous, potentially doomed balancing act for activated humans. Every hyper-sensitive being on this planet must fight apathy and the tug of prevailing currents if there is any hope for our own future.

    Given some time, the biosphere will chug on just fine, thank you…. Martin: I think you miss my point about the desirability of an immediate collapse of the global industrial economy. Yes, of course, it would be more than an inconvenience to us, but according to my sources, that is about all, at this late stage, that gives this planet any chance at all of not going into catastrophic collapse. Most climate models being used today do not include positive feedback loops brought on by the uncovering of peat bogs in Siberia and methane release in the arctic, due to ice melt. Methane, by the way, is in the short term about a hundred times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon.

    If, for instance, we were by some sweet miracle to immediately lose electricity globally, that would slow down our poisoning and devouring of the planet to the point that it might actually not lose all four billion years of evolutionary creativity. Yes, I know, it would really spoil our wonderful high-tech way of life, and make kind of a mess for us in the short term. And do we honestly believe that everything else can go down, and we will stand here alone, triumphant on our poisonous heap of destruction?

    Everything is connected to everything else. When the Earth goes down we go down with it. That never gets put on the human balance sheet, but the economy of Nature feels the loss that comes with our short term gains. To me, your opinion sounds like dogma based on the doctrines of reductionist, materialist science. I am seventy years old, and have by choice spent most of my life living very close to Nature. I know what I have seen and experienced, and know there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in materialist philosophy.

    You, of course, are free to have your own opinion. Special as we think we are, we are not equipped to encompass the Mystery. I suspect Martin is not whole heartedly trying to discredit any of the folks who think there are opportunities to shift the paradigm, but rather make the point that the strength of the dominant system is so powerful, so overwhelming that the likelihood of making ground with even well thought out ideas, is not likely.

    Yes, he may be implying it is a waist of time and I have strong suspicions he is correct. I suspect, like many, that it will all come down to the local systems, the ones closest to us that will carry the day. Having a pie-in-the-sky dream of changing the world and the masses in it many are illiterate, many too engulfed in their day to day, many in a euphoric trans state over the glories of techno-trumphalistic pipe dream, multitudes of religious wet dreamers is not really possible.

    Obviously, Kingsworth is also struggling and like many writers, and the list is long, at the end of their writings, toss out a couple of possibilities just as a way of appeasing the dreamers, maybe just tidbits of thought food, knowing that the odds are not in our favor. Nature will bat last and she might clean out the stadium doing it. With luck, the system will slowly decline under the load of depletions, misuse, mis-allocations, over population, pollution and other maladies brought on by the system.

    Those folks not suffering from rectal-cranial inversion and possessing proper placement, and raw living knowledge may fare better than others. There will be peripheral damage to all species. Great, well-written article. And I do appreciate his helpful suggestions. We need to be able, expert, at joining together! That is, forging cooperation, indeed going back to tribal forms of joining together.

    Whether our species survive on earth or perish, in the short term all the possible ameliorations we can try will depend on cooperation, both in the long and short term, on a huge scale. We have to take it back. And we could if we could join together, because I believe there are enough who believe in the climate crisis now, especially in the poor nations, many of which are closer to destruction than we lucky few. The latest US election gives cause for hope — not because of Obama but in spite of him.

    The hopeful thing is that the poor, the brown, the black, the women, the gays coalesced against the forces of prejudice, and denial; that is, against the fascists, and that will bring some change for many of us.

    Guided By The Beauty Of Our Weapons

    Gotta work on that,too! Kingsworth, good for you to share your thoughts and to sharpen the tools of scholarship to amplify them. When I think of Kaczynski, I think of cowardice, brutality, and villainy, not clarity in service of conviviality. Imagine some trivial, off-campus Reaganite opening what he thought was a gift-book only to marvel, in the millisecond before oblivion or blindness, at the use of green materials, recycled wood chips even, before the cleverly contrived environmental statement detonated in his face.

    Surprise, you un-tenured boob! Better yet, imagine his children, mere nascent machine-cogs, discovering the cute, little, disguised manifesto before daddy does. Damn, these math majors are clever. But we expect sharpness from men of Harvard. I guess the raw beauty of wreaking havoc, the who, the why, the where, is in the eye of the beholder. I get it. The homicidal hermit has something to teach us. Why mess with letters to the editor when anonymous, random violence can correct our civilization and its misguided ways.

    Have we overlooked unsung prophets from other campuses? Where did Ted Bundy go to school? What about Charlie Manson? He lived in the desert. Maybe a retro-album on the evils of urbanization and chain-store proliferation? Guy McPherson has chosen to disengage himself from the economy, which is a private, psychological matter — of utterly no consequence to the natural world that you and I speak of.

    Global emissions of fossil fuels are rising, and poised to rise much higher. Religious terms are just empty words — but we do live with irrational drives, insticts, emotions. No one deserves too much credit for any of these lifelong attempts, since we are in such dire straits. David M. I wish to underscore and uplift all the affirmative comments regarding your magnificent work here.

    Magnificent, yes, I say, because it most clearly elucidates the very things that have bedeviled me for more years than you have been alive. I have not reproduced. My biggest gift to the future is that my minimal carbon footprint ends with me. MANY of my friends, college educated and upper middle class, are also childless I know the standard warnings against this tack.

    But I could not have a grandchild living in the world I know to be coming. And just a selfish comment: I do believe Nature can survive all that humans can do to her. Of course, how not? A tsunami is one way of cleansing your home but is hell on the French Provincial furniture. As we wreck our way to the end only to prove that we will loose the fight against Her, the tigers, the frogs, the giant Sequoias will go down first. Who the hell do we think we are? It is not at all hard to see human consciousness as a lethal virus set loose on this exquisite planet.

    Kingsworth: I wrote a little homage to a singer of the scythe Hilaire Belloc whose distributism still has adherents. Keep it going. Marris and Brand take climate change very seriously, while Lomborg does not. It made me happy to see this article, as with others the author put into words the feelings I have. We seem to be grieving our loss, in all the phases Kubler Ross identified. All five of his tentative answers are also mine; I wonder if our 25 year old will feel the same.

    He has a harder choice, he will see more of the dissolution, lose many more species, be tangled in more social disruption and disarray. Whether we like it, or not, we are a product of nature and nature has a dark side. It also developed levels of biological complexity hundreds of millions of years ago, that our technologies and societies are only now beginning to mimic.

    We are cells in some larger organism. If I was to ask if nature has some larger, fractal plan, it would be that the planet is growing itself a central nervous system, with humanity as the medium. The problem is that information tends to be static. It holds and binds the energy required to maintain it. This sets up a conflict between the dynamic energy and the static information, so the system develops methods of reseting and erasing excess information.

    Biology does this by individual organisms dying, as the species regenerates. Bodies are processes in themselves, as generations of cells are formed and shed. As our social institutions build up legacy costs, they also find themselves losing ground to less burdened, more dynamic entities. So there is a constant churn of structures building up and breaking down. Just as individual mobile organisms evolved central nervous systems in order to navigate complex environments and respond to circumstances, groups of people develop governing structures in order coordinate their responses to situations they encounter.

    This requires a conceptual frame to define the purpose of the organization and instill allegiance, such as religious texts, national constitutions, or even company mission statements. Goals, group narratives, external adversaries, etc. There are many equally powerful influences both internal and external, trying to break down such organizations. Even conflicts between keeping them together and continuing to fulfill original purposes can be rending, as management and vision clash.

    The problem here is that we tend to think of good and bad as an issue of black and white moral clarity, even if the details are usually messy and unclear. While we instinctively think of good and bad as ideals, they are really the primal biological binary code. Life is attracted to the beneficial and repelled by the detrimental. What is bad for the chicken is good for the fox and there is no clear line where the chicken ends and the fox begins.

    Between black and white are not just shades of grey, but all the colors of the spectrum. The price we pay for being able to feel in the first place, is that a lot of it is pain. There are consequences to consider when we are moving; The faster we go, the less able we are to maneuver and the greater damage when we encounter the unexpected.

    Going slow limits our access to new environments, but strengthens our connections to the one in which we exist. It is drawing rights on the rest of the community. Its value stems from the willingness of the participants in that contract to honor it. Contracts are not owned by any one party. They are an agreement among different parties. To the extent the financial system is the circulatory system of society, money is the blood flowing through it. Its effectiveness is dependent on its fungibility.

    We no more own the money in our pocket, than we own the road we are driving on. Yes, we are in sole possession of any one spot on that road at any one time, but its value is due to the connectivity with all other roads. We own our cars, houses, businesses, etc, but not the roads connecting them and no one cries socialism over that. We have to think of money in the same way. If people understand that money is a form of public utility and not actually private property, then they will naturally be far more careful what value they take out of social relations and environmental resources to put in a bank account.

    I would say it is an evolved store of value, closer to a commodity. If money is worth something one day and loses value the next day, no contract is violated. This would be a terrific basis for a discussion. How much did civilization purposefully evolve and how much was it some kind of trial and error process, like say a beehive. I think his main argument is a strong fossil fuel driven economy will, down the road, fund some bangup technological solutions to our environmental problems better and faster than a fossil fuel deprived weaker one. He seems to think our ability to adapt will carry us through the interim.

    Yet there are serious limits as to how much sustainable debt the economy can support, so there is pressure to lower standards, since stored wealth is very popular. Yet its value is an obligation drawn on the larger economy and that is a contract. So back to my point that if people began to understand it as a multi-party contract and not just some nebulous store of value, they would better understand how it functions and not be so naive as how the strings are pulled. The essay puts this in a broader context than what I pasted.

    Remember withdrawing is merely moving in a different direction…that is the intelligent response. Brilliant essay. In the Costa Rica rainforest the equivalent to the scythe is the machete in all its manifestations. That makes sense John. I guess where I would put the emphasis is that borrowing operates on the expectation of economic growth. At some point that runs into limits and then you are operating on faith economics. Achieving steady state economics restores money to its pure store of value function for facilitating barter in goods and services.

    Too busy selling articles on Orion? Not willing to rock the boat? OTP letter to senders re: Iraq, 9 February The Rendulic Rule set the legal precedent for the importance of the subjective test in determining a case of Military Necessity. He presented evidence that the Norwegian population would not voluntarily evacuate.

    International law has justified, acquitted or given lenient sentences to violent and non-violent actions of civil disobedience, which included murder, kidnapping, arson, etc:. State, S. Ashton, 24 F. Mass No. Holmes, 26 F. Geary, 3 Cal. Anti Nuclear 10 : State v. Mouer Columbia Co. Brown Lake County, Jan. Block Galt Judicial Dist.

    Lemnitzer, No. McMillan, No. D San Luis Obispo Jud. Schaeffer-Duffy Worcester Dist. Hirshi, No. Valley Dept. Brown, No. Jerome, Nos. Karon, No. J Benton County Dist. Keller, No. Jarka, Nos. Bock Denver County Ct. June 12, Anti-Military Industrial Complex 4 : Michigan v. Jones et al. Largrou, Nos. Carter, No. Fish Skokie Cir. Anti-Apartheid 3 : Chicago v. Streeter, Nos. May ; Washington v. Heller Seattle Mun. Bass, Nos. April 8, Halem, No. He nearly brought down an airplane…. I think Mr. Violence met with violence creates more violence.

    Non-violence actions, like putting yourself in the way of a bulldozer inspire others. Non-violent resistance is not for cowards. It is not a quiet, passive acceptance of evil. One is passive and non-violent physically, but very active spiritually, always seeking ways to persuade the opponent of advantages to the way of love, cooperation, and peace. The goal is not to defeat or humiliate the opponent but rather to win him or her over to understanding new ways to create cooperation and community.

    The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil, not the people who are engaged in injustice. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliating; accepts violence, but never commits it. It is God flowing through the human heart. Agape is ahimsa. Non-violent resistance is based on the belief that the universe is just.

    There is God or a creative force that is moving us toward universal love and wholeness continually. All beings, those who are not people and those who are. First, though, the peevishness of Lara is symptomatic of the deep green fraud. The State chooses whatevr words its wants when it enforces its rule. How do you think Daniel MacGowan went to prison for so long, and what do you think will keep him in the chains of parole now?

    This is the immorality of Orion giving space to poseurs like Derrick Jensen. What should be the price of advocating martyrdom? The awful case of Assange should be a further instruction. Did he not have one iota of comprehension of how powerful are its institutions of repression and counter-attack? Does not the Occupy failure confirm this? It sounds like either you a misunderstood my response, or b you did understand it, and you are a nonviolent fundamentalist. Non-violence is fine; if you dealing with someone who may be convinced, after you have demonstrated to them your sincerity and commitment to the issue.

    Non-violence in defense to being attacked, is also rather idiotic, I would think; but if you are a nonviolent fundamentalist, by all means, enjoy and remain addicted to your fundamentalism. If you are being attacked, international law, military law, states that you have the right to respond violently to being attacked, in self defence. Kaczynsky sincerely subjectively he met the military necessity subjective test believed that nature is being attacked, that industrial civilization is at war with nature.

    You are suggesting that when Party A is at war with Party B, just cause you are a pacificst fundamentalist, you cannot make a statement of support in favour of Party B, responding militarily in self defence i. I have a rap sheet for a terrorism, b malicious damage to state property, c contempt of court swearing at judge and prosecutor , d crimen injuria insulting a politician. I am non-violent, but only in terms of refusing to attack someone else violently.

    Is it possible to read the words of Theodore Kaczynski and Daniel McGowan and be convinced by their cases, that they deserve support in arguing on behalf of the defence of ecological military necessity? Certainly not the first dozen or hundred; but as more people realize the ecological military necessity of defending nature, by means of non-violent political activism, and for those few who choose violence, that even they should should be supported to stand before the court and argue a defence of ecological military necessity; so there message spreads.

    Where are the Frantz Fanon liberals now????? Your choice is thus to prioritize the lives of those who support Industrial civilization, whose are at war with you, willing to exterminate you….. Anyone who commits the acts of a Daniel McGowan or Kaczynski, knows very well they stand the chance of going to prison. If you think you get change without being willing to sacrifice, you are delusional. Appreciate those who are willing to sacrifice.

    YOu appear to confuse a advocating violence, with b advocating that those who have made their own subjective choice, that violence is their own option, be denied an honourable ecological subjective necessity defence. They may have knowledge that I could not acquire in dozens of years, and htier knowledge places them in a subjective position, that their only option is violence. Who the hell am I to tell them, that just cause that is not my experience, it should not be theirs, and they should be denied an ecological military necessity defence for their violent actions?

    Thats like someone who has never subjectively experienced rape, telling a gang rape surivor — hey, you should have laid back and enjoyed it..