Deep Green Resistance is a radical feminist organization, because all oppression is connected. The freedom of women as a class cannot be separated from the resistance to the dominant culture as a whole. Racism is connected to patriarchy, patriarchy is woven together with the destruction of the planet, and ecocide is interlinked with class oppression.
This episode of The Green Flame focuses on “Pornography Men Possessing Women,” one of Andrea Dworkin’s most influential and important books. In this episode we highlight reflections from the Deep Green Book Club to approach the heart of Andrea Dworkin’s analysis and life’s work.
Poetry and Music
We thank Trinity La Fey for a special live recording of her poem “Tintinnabulation.”
Thank you to Beth Quist for sharing her live acoustic performance of her composition, Angel of Death. Beth is playing all the instruments as well as being the solo vocalist. The “studio” is her RV!
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Ben Warner relates the coronavirus pandemic to the wetiko disease, what Jack Forbes calls “a spiritual sickness with a physical vector”—the disease of colonization.
By Ben Warner
A virus has been infecting humanity for centuries and it threatens all life on earth. This virus of selfishness is named Wetiko by many indigenous Americans. It is a form of psychosis, an infection of the mind and spirit that allows the creation of this cannibalistic culture often called Western Civilisation.
“Now, were Columbus and his fellow European exploiters simply “greedy” men whose “ethics”were such as to allow for mass slaughter and genocide? I shall argue that Columbus was a wétiko, that he was mentally ill or insane, the carrier of a terribly contagious psychological disease, the wétiko psychosis. The Native people he described were, on the other hand, sane people with a healthy state of mind. Sanity or healthy normality among humans and other living creatures involves a respect for other forms of life and other individuals, as I have described earlier. I believe that is the way people have lived (and should live). The wétiko psychosis, and the problems it creates, have inspired many resistance movements and efforts at reform or revolution. Unfortunately, most of these efforts have failed because they have never diagnosed the wétiko as an insane person whose disease is extremely contagious.”
– Jack D. Forbes, Columbus and Other Cannibals
Although Covid-19 is not “the cure” as some misanthropes claim, it does expose some truths, allowing us time to identify the real problems and reflect on ways to build an effective resistance to solve it.
What kind of culture needs a virus that attacks the respiratory system to force it to make behavioral changes that reduce levels (in China, the UK, Australia and worldwide) of nitrogen dioxide, a gas that increases the likelihood of respiratory problems? The decline of air pollution over China is estimated to have saved 77,000 lives.
What kind of culture needs a respiratory virus to save people from choking to death on the poison it produces? A wetiko culture.
While reports of nature and dolphins returning to the ancient city of Venice were exaggerated, why did the tweet that started it become viral? Why did so many people love the idea that nature might be reclaiming one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations?
It is likely that globalized capitalism caused this pandemic. What other form of human organization would lead to a marketplace selling highly-stressed animals, thus creating the conditions for a virus to cross the species barrier? Even if the virus originated in America, as some claim, it was spread by globalized transport. What other system would create the trade links and transportation to allow this virus to spread rapidly?
There is a strong likelihood of more viruses emerging with every bit of nature we destroy. Industrial civilization is the only human culture that extinguishes biodiversity at such an unprecedented level that it makes mass pandemics almost inevitable.
In a sane and healthy culture families forced to stay at home due to a disaster would not fear violence from members of their own household. In the Wetiko infected culture we have already seen an increase of men inflicting domestic violence (worldwide, France, the UK, the USA, South Africa) on the women and children they should be caring for. This culture of dominance is one we should all reject. By objectifying every being and viewing them simply as resources to be consumed; women, forests and all of wild nature become resources to be used, abused, tortured and killed.
Medical experts predicted this crisis. Governments and the ruling class knew what was coming, but did not meaningfully try to stop it. They simply planned the best way they could extract capital from it. They asked themselves how they could turn the virus and its consequences into a resource. This neoliberal cabal, includes the World Economic Forum (an organization which only represents leading global companies) and, which is now in partnership with the United Nations and World Health Organization. The response to this crisis is being controlled by global corporations. Do you think they care about you, or their profit margins?
The global elite tell us “we are all in this together.” If that is true then why did Prince Charles and Boris Johnson get tested when displaying mild symptoms? Meanwhile our nurses and doctors remain untested. The authorities are using this pandemic as an excuse to take away our rights and force us to comply with their agenda. How exactly have the authorities provided the services you need?
Consequences of Economic Shutdown
The community-strengthening sectors such as; arts and culture, local markets and small businesses have been forced to close and are unlikely to survive. They could be taken over by multinationals or simply disappear. Sectors that serve capital (finance, big tech, mining, construction, energy, industrial agriculture etc.) either continue unabated with their destruction or will be revived and bailed out when the lockdown ends. In fact promises of bailouts have already started.
Working class people cannot work from home. They have to work to stock the supermarket shelves and make sure we have food to eat. Most of these people are women, so once again, poor women will suffer the most. The majority of the global poor do not have access to healthcare and are starving to death amid food shortages (the Philippines, India)
It is likely that after this pandemic, governments and the global elite will implement the green new deal. This will not benefit the environment nor will it benefit poor communities. It will benefit the corporate sector. What is happening currently may have far reaching implications; we may never return to normal. We are already seeing countries pass laws to force medical treatments on patients who do not want them. In some countries (e.g. Sweden) there has already been microchipping of people. It is voluntary at the moment, but for how long? Elsewhere there is evermore increased, intrusive surveillance. People are being fined thousands of dollars for simply leaving their homes. Some medical professionals are advocating for infrared-visible tattoos for those who have been vaccinated—a procedure with unknown effects on health and privacy. Could we see governments make this compulsory?
It is hardly surprising that with at least 200 species going extinct each day we are fast approaching the 6th mass extinction. What else can we expect from a culture ruled by psychopaths?
Covid-19 provides the privileged with a frightening glimpse of what many face in the present and what we are very likely to face on an increasing scale in the future. Panic buying, mass migrations, starvation, reduction or complete loss of civil freedoms, social unrest and nations switching from fake democracies (inverted totalitarianism) to outright dictatorships. As species extinction, soil depletion and climate change continue to accelerate we could all face a more extreme version of this.
What Can We Do?
In this culture, there are people who value (and hold) power and money over relationships and love. By taking a bird’s eye view we can remember the importance of building communities and take decisive, effective action. Those of us who value relationships and love rather than money and power need to prepare ourselves. We need to help others prepare. While the media propagates panic, we need to organize collectively.
We must engage with every form of effective resistance. We need to talk with each other. We need to be united. We must collaborate with others whenever we share a common goal. Here are some specific examples.
Go On Strike
In late 2019 and early 2020, striking French electrical workers cut off the power to major corporations, including Amazon and government agencies. Previous French strikes have seen transport workers park trucks across the entrance to oil refineries and ports, shutting them down. We can learn from the French workers’ unions. A strategic general strike could shut down whole industries.
Build Community Defense Networks and Practice Discipline and Skills
Neighborhood organizing. The military and the police serve the interests of the ruling class. We should keep them out of our neighborhoods by forming our own defense forces and patrols. Emphasizing community safety and mutual aid. We should confront, record and prevent racist policing. This is one way to create a sense of neighborhood sovereignty. Refuse to report on your neighbors, instead help each other out. Defend small business and community infrastructure, drive out industries exploiting neighborhood land and labor, and resist corporate takeover.
Engage in Rent Strikes and Debt Strikes
The economy doesn’t need our labor, as evidenced by, the UK government paying people not to work. To continue the economy needs us as consumers. We could stop paying rent and paying off our debts. We could boycott the economy altogether and provide for our own needs from a land base. We have the collective power to take down the economic system.
Create Mutual Aid Systems and Local Food
We could grow food together, providing for others in our neighborhoods. Get to know neighbors in person. We need to abandon any belief that the government will provide for us and start providing for ourselves. As millions of people lose their jobs, they will see that the money economy does not serve us. This could promote opportunities to explore localized economies that do not depend on money and the global economy.
Learn and Teach Practical Skills
Offer skill shares such as food production, permaculture, maintenance and repair, crafts, direct democracy, local culture, arts and healing. All these skills can be learnt and taught. Learning together strengthens community and supports neighborhood well-being.
Raise Awareness About Political Issues and Revolutionary Analysis
Increase understanding about where political power is held, and how it is being exercised. It is in globalist institutions (World Economic Forum, World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund) and Big Tech. It is not in regional, national or local governments. Power is being exercised electronically, including through surveillance, it need not be exercised overtly.
The more organized we can be in building resistance, in localizing economies, the easier it will be for everyone. Global economic collapse is inevitable. Bringing it about and/or supporting transition is important work. We can find vulnerabilities in the structure, as the French Union workers did. We can start conversations to consider the possibility of life without electricity as an option. Without it the ruling class have fewer ways to extend power over us. We could support direct action to target the electricity grid and shut down the energy industry.We could be at the point in history when revolution to overthrow capitalism is inevitable. We need to be ready.
Ben Warner is a longtime guardian with DGR, a teacher, and an activist.
Disclaimer: This article was based on information and evidence available at the time of writing. The situation is changing quickly. Please, post links to anything you believe is relevant in the comments section, so the article can be updated as necessary. The links and questions in this article invite you to seek answers for yourself, engage critical thinking and investigate. You may not agree with everything. However, now more than ever, we need to collaborate and unite for revolutionary change, whenever and wherever we can.
by Ben Warner
The result of last week’s election was both unsurprising and, oddly helpful. It demonstrated what many of us already know; that most of the electorate are ill-informed, and incapable of making even a basic, reasonable decision. We know that the media is corporately controlled and designed to protect corporate interests. We know that this culture’s downward spiral is accelerating and that it will not voluntarily transform itself into the promised “better society”.
It was perhaps the starkest choice the British electorate has ever had to face. On the one hand a racist, sexist, upper class, proven liar at the head of a political party that offered very little (in reality) for the people. On the other, an imperfect but, seemingly, honest man with a history of integrity, who has fought for disadvantaged people for decades. A man at the head of a party whose policies might at least have helped those less well off in the UK, people who really needed immediate relief from austerity. I normally spoil my ballot paper because I want radical not incremental change . This year I voted.
I knew that my vote would not be enough. Corbyn’s policies, at least less destructive than the Sociopath’s, did not go nearly far enough in terms of halting the destruction of the earth. I knew that even if Corbyn won we would still have to resist. I voted because it was a choice between a vile self-centred man who craves power and a decent human being whose aim is to help the disadvantaged.
I was disappointed but not surprised when the country elected the Sociopath. This is a profoundly dishonest and sociopathic culture. Psychologist, J. Schumaker (2016) claims “Human culture has mutated into a sociopathic marketing machine dominated by economic priorities and psychological manipulation.”, so of course it would elect a dishonest sociopath to lead it. In actual fact, the more you learn, the more you realise the situation is far worse than that. Life on earth is facing extermination. Everyday 200 species disappear forever, climate change accelerates, this culture continues to poison our air, water and land. If life is to survive we need to create a vibrant diverse culture of resistance.
According to Umail Haque, Anglo-America is “entering a death spiral, from which there’s probably no return.” The “only two rich societies in the world with falling life expectancies, incomes, savings, happiness, trust — every single social indicator you can imagine — are America and Britain.” In fact the whole world is in a death spiral, or rather, industrial civilisation is killing life on earth. Every single ecosystem is in decline. You might think this is an exaggeration, in which case I invite you to investigate. It is a hard truth to face but we ALL NEED TO face it and ACT. We need to resist or we die.
In the The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014) Elizabeth Kolbert and the scientists she interviews, identify three main causes of global extinction; climate change/ocean acidification, habitat loss and foreign species introduction. Pre-industrialised humanity did not cause climate change and ocean acidification. Habitat loss was not caused by indigenous people, it was caused by agriculture and the spread of civilisation. Foreign species introduction only became a global problem with the rise of globalisation. Industrial civilisation is not causing the 6th mass extinction, rather it is committing the first mass extermination of life on earth. It is not an extinction event. It is genocide.
Both Umail Haque and psychologist John F Schumaker have noticed that “Who we are has never been more incompatible with who we need to be. What we have become is the greatest threat to ourselves and the planet.” This culture celebrates stupidity, rewards the selfish and reveres the rich. How else can explain that a Grimsby fish market worker would describe the Tory leader as “a normal working class guy”? Empathy as a social characteristic is, according to this study, in decline. We are all, to some extent, as Jack D. Forbes has shown, infected by the Wetiko virus, an indigenous reference to pathological selfishness.
Johnathan Cook claims that this election has helped to burn the illusion that we live in a functioning democracy. We do not. As Chris Hedges points out, the corporate coup d’etat took place decades ago. The media is owned by the elite and they would not permit a man who posed a threat to their ability to thrive, to be elected. Cook also points to part of the solution, stating we must take to the streets. We know this alone will not be enough.
We need to stop the idiocy, we need to increase people’s ability to think things through, we need to take this whole mess down. We need a resistance movement that knows what the root cause of the problem is; industrial civilisation. A movement schooled in the strategies and tactics that have led to unlikely victories in the past. We need support networks. Sabotage. Educated, underground, militant, direct action groups, who are willing to take any necessary action to stop the machinery of this cannibalistic system from poisoning the air, the soil and the sea. We need peaceful protests. We need boycotts. We need strikes and we need people to support the strikers. We need all truly effective actions. We needed it decades ago. We need it now before it is too late.
This election result should not dispirit us. It must galvanise us. I WILL SEE YOU. I will see you in the streets, in the trees, and at the gates of the elite. I will see you at night dismantling the machines of destruction. I will see you in the jungles in front of bulldozers or chasing colonizers from your land. See you at the rivers letting them run free. See you anywhere life is under threat. I see as all working together to turn the tide of this merciless destructive culture. And I see us all regenerating this wild beautiful bleeding world. I see us.
Ben Warner is a longtime organizer with Deep Green Resistance UK. He is a white, urban-raised, middle-class male, who recognises that cities, white supremacy, male supremacy, human supremacy, and capitalism need to be dismantled.
Featured image: original artwork provided by the author.
by Ben Warner / Deep Green Resistance UK
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the new word of the year is “post-truth.” It means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In other words, so many people are burying their heads in the sand that we need to have a new word for it. If you do not think we are in great danger of wiping out most of the life on this planet, feel free to remain, albeit for a short while, in the post truth age. But if you want to live in a flourishing, abundant and diverse living community, I invite you to continue reading to find one way this might be reached.
The environmental movement has failed. Since the publication of Silent Spring we have not even been able to slow down the rate at which human produced CO2 levels increase each year. If you wanted to stop your bath from overflowing, but each second the tap was turned more and each turn was bigger than the last, when would you realise your attempt to prevent overflow was failing? We have not slowed down the destruction of the forests, the jungles, the grasslands, the coral reef or any other non-human community. The dominant culture is poised to wipe out most life on Earth. If we do nothing it will certainly succeed. We can only stop it if we act.
The quickest, surest and most effective method of stopping a group of people from murdering other beings is to permanently remove the means, the devices, the machines they use to achieve their goal. The means this culture uses is industrial infrastructure. We need to permanently impede this infrastructure before it kills us and the communities of life we rely on. This can be achieved by small groups of unconnected people who work secretly to dismantle, disrupt and sabotage any device that is a threat to life. They will have to be dedicated, educated and skilled. They will have to plan their actions with precision and accuracy. They will have to work undetected, underground and unthanked. If life is to have a future we need this underground to start immediately.
Aboveground activists should work to normalise this kind of resistance. We can support them emotionally, morally and politically. In order to maintain security we must do this without making any direct contact with the underground. Our work is complementary but must be separate.
Modern humans (homo sapiens) have existed on this planet for about 200,000 years. Despite humans’ spread across the globe, fossil records show us coexisting with the rest of the earth’s species for the first 97% of our time here. (There is some debate as to whether indigenous humans drove some species extinct, but if it occurred, it wasn’t anything like the mass extinction that industrial humanity is currently causing.) We must protect the life that still remains using all effective means. An underground has to form, and those of us who are unwilling or unable to join it must support it in any way we can.
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