This is a MUST WATCH video of Derrick Jensen talking about the premises of our Civilisation and why it is not sustainable.
In the talk he does a great job of explaining the premises, although if you enjoyed the video, or if you didn’t fully understand it then you should probably read the book. (NB : ZInfo is not associated with Derrick and does not receive any money for any form of advertising, in any way).
- Civilisation is not, and can never be sustainable.
- In a city your life must be based on violence (due to the required importation of resources).
- Our way of living-industrial civilisation, is based on, requires and would collapse without persistent and wide spread violence.
- This civilisation is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted, unarticulated hierarchy. Violence is only acceptable from the top down [a very interesting point].
- The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control (make more money) by destroying or taking the lives of those below (this is called production). If those below damage the property of those above then those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below (this is called justice).
- This culture is not redeemable. It won’t undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane, sustainable way of living.
- The longer we wait for the crash of civilisation, or the longer we wait before we bring it down, the messier the crash will be, and the worse it will be for humans and the environment who live during it and for those who come after.
- The needs of the natural world are more important the the needs of the economic system.
- Although there will someday be far less humans than at present, there are many ways in which this population reduction could occur. NB : Population is actually a tertiary problem, resource use is the primary problem.
- The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. It’s driven by a death urge and an urge to destroy life.
- From the beginning, this Civilisation has been a civilisation of occupation, and the government is the government of occupation.
- There are no rich people in the world; there are no poor people. There’s just people. Money is just a concept.
- Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of the illusions to the contrary the sooner we can begin to make reasonable decisions about resistance.
- Love does not imply passivism.
There are some points that I think could be debated or slightly tweaked. Especially premise 6. I agree that whilst civilisation won’t go voluntarily, you don’t have to have a Price of Infinity (enviro, energy, economic) collapse. We can guide civilisation through a Price of Zero collapse (using abundance, sustainability, automation and education) .
As you’ll see in the next post (about changing the value system), I think that point 8 needs to be pointed out to people. They know it, but don’t realise that the economic system is given priority over nature, life, and human wellbeing. The Sydney, Australia chapter is currently editing some vox-pop/street interviews which show this mentality in action.
Regarding point 9. It’s possible that if we were to be efficient and effective with the natural resources, we would likely be able to keep similar numbers of people or even raise the population whilst maintaining a stable equilibrium with the environment. But we would need to be net positive not net destructive to the environment. Humanity would also expand in numbers as we colonise other planets. But would shouldn’t and likely won’t do such a thing under the current culture and system. If we did it wouldn’t be pretty for anything that got in our way.