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Posted July 10, 2011
This is hardly the first book to acknowledge the desperation of our current predicament. Many books have addressed the devastation of our planet's oceans, soil, and forests, have pointed out that we are living in the midst of an anthropogenic mass extinction of unprecedented speed and voracity. It's easy to find books discussing the ongoing genocide against indigenous peoples, and the ongoing devastation of their landbases and rivers for the profits of the rich, working under the malicious banner of "progress". We have many books about soil erosion turning farmland to desert, and pesticide effluents killing rivers and leaving dead zones in our oceans. Many books are available that acknowledge we live in a pornographic culture and a rape culture, a culture with little respect for women and children. For decades books have been telling us that toxic chemicals from factories have entered our bodies, that women can no longer even nurse without passing along dioxins to their children, toxins dangerous at even at a few parts per trillion. We have books that recognize that corporations, as persons, are genocidal maniacs who will profit from any atrocity they can possibly get away with, will leave our planet a barren husk so long as we do not stop them. Nor is this even the first book to argue that we must stop them.
What is different about Deep Green Resistance is that it is the first book that offers a solution that is scaled to the size of our predicament. In the past, books have usually suggested answers such as getting involved in your community, making better consumer choices, writing letters to the editor, planting gardens, donating to worthy charities, and spreading awareness of the problems we're facing. These are good moral decisions to make, but as political tools for change they are not effective, and it becomes an immense problem when these sort of actions become the backbone of our movement for a saner world. Self-improvement and token actions, although they might help us to relieve guilt, are not going to cut it. If we are going to save this sickly planet, we are going to need to organize ourselves squarely against systems of power, and fight them as hard as we can. The authors of this book have clearly thought long and hard about how we need to organize, how we need to strategize, and what sort of pitfalls we need to watch out for. If you love this planet as much as I do, I hope you read this book and take what it has to say to heart. We will need all the heart and courage that we can muster.
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Posted April 22, 2012
Jensen's main contribution is the preface and his name on the cover of the book. Keith does a lot of really verbose crabbing about groups of people who, while annoying, don't actually have any power and wouldn't be viable recruits for a resistance movement, anyway (i.e. neo-pagans and people who spend a lot of time and money at personal-growth workshops). She also I think alienates some good and useful people simply because she finds them eccentric or misguided. That being said, I do like how she illustrates that alternative culture and resistance culture are not at all the same thing, and she draws upon a wealth of knowledge about the history of resistance movements.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2012
Like the last reviewer wrote, we hear about the problems of our current environmental situation from every angle. The oceans are dying, species are going extinct at rapid rates, deforestation, desertification, and catastrophic climate change which has already begun or is on it's way. Rape, racism, genocide, war, economies failing, governments becoming increasingly fascist as resources run out. These are realities we all know, and although those of us on the left have tried many many things and efforts to stop them, they are still happening.
With these facts in mind, among many others including peak oil and human population overshoot, the situation looks bleak.
Deep Green Resistance addresses this situation for what it is. No false promises, and no easy consumer choice decision. It calls for a political resistance movement that addresses systems of power that are destroying the planet as well as aiming to rebuild new systems once the destructive ones come down. It is a broad strategy that calls for an aboveground movement to build a culture of resistance and sees the necessity of a broad range of tactics to prevent any more environmental damage to the planet, as well as soften the crash for the rest of us, human and non-human, who are around after oil runs out.
The book also delves into what a culture of resistance looks like (an oppositional culture) when what we have on the Left is an "alternative" culture.
This book is vitally important. Whether or not you agree with all of what is said in here, there is something for everyone to do to to resist what's happening to the planet. Like Derrick says, we need it all.
A highly recommended read for people who liked
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Endgame by Derrick Jensen
The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith