How Long Has Humanity Been at War With Itself?

How Long Has Humanity Been at War With Itself?

Editor’s note: When debating with people about how to create a society without war, the argument always comes up that “back in the stone age humans were also violent” or “back to nature doesn’t work”. Yet historical research shows that even if we shouldn’t romanticise being a cave man or woman, in prehistory humans probably lived the most peaceful life they ever have on earth.
 

As this article by Deborah Barsky describes, how early Homo species hunted in vast lush territories and formed clan-like groups. They had to stick together against storms and times of hunger, because they knew they were interdependent on each other and on wild nature.

There’s no proof so far for bellicose violence until it comes to the Neolithic age around 12,000 years BC. Only from the times people became sedentary and had unequal access to ressources, archaeologists discovered ancient remains of weapons of war.

That’s somehow good news, because the narrative of humans being evil by force of their genes can likely be false, which means we can liberate ourselves from the excuse of being “only humans” and instead actively abolishing a culture of war and terrorism to create a new world where we’d be inspired by our ancestors and sitting calmly at the fire.

This article was produced by Human Bridges.


How Long Has Humanity Been at War With Itself?

By Deborah Barsky/Independent Media Institute

The famous American astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” But can we ever know the history of human origins well enough to understand why humans wage large-scale acts of appalling cruelty on other members of our own species? In January 2024, the Geneva Academy was monitoring no less than 110 armed conflicts globally. While not all of these reach mainstream media outlets, each is equally horrific in terms of the physical violence and mental cruelty we inflict on each other.
Do massive acts of intra- or interpopulational violence conform with Darwinian precepts of natural selection, or is this something we do as a competitive response to the stresses of living in such large populations? Looking back in time can help us find answers to such questions. Evidence preserved in the archeological record can tell us about when and under what conditions the preludes to warlike behaviors emerged in the past. Scientific reasoning can then transform this information into viable hypotheses that we can use to understand ourselves in today’s world.
As archeologists continue to unearth new fossil evidence at an increasing rate, so too are they piecing together the human story as one of complex interactions played out by (a growing number of) different species of the genus Homo that lived during the tens of thousands of years preceding the emergence—and eventual global dominance—of our own species: Homo sapiens. In fact, scientists have recognized more than a dozen (now extinct) species of Homo that thrived over the millennia, sometimes sharing the same landscapes and occasionally even interbreeding with one another. Millions of years of hybridization is written into the genomes of modern human populations.
Although we know very little about what these paleo-encounters might have been like, progress in science and technology is helping archeologists to find ways to piece together the puzzle of interspecific human relationships that occurred so long ago and that contributed to making us who we are today. In spite of these advances, the fossil record remains very fragmentary, especially concerning the older phases of human evolution.
First consider Homo, or H. habilis, so-named because a significant increase in stone tool-making is recognized following its emergence some 2.8 million years ago in East Africa. The evidence for the beginnings of this transformational event that would set off the spiraling evolutionary history of human technological prowess is relatively sparse. But such ancient (Oldowan) toolkits do become more abundant from this time forward, at first in Africa, and then into the confines of Eurasia by around 1.8 million years ago. Throughout this period, different kinds of hominins adopted and innovated stone tool making, socializing it into normalized behavior by teaching it to their young and transforming it into a cutting-edge survival strategy. We clearly observe the positive repercussions of this major advancement in our evolutionary history from the expanding increases in both the number of archeological sites and their geographical spread. Unevenly through time, occurrences of Oldowan sites throughout the Old World begin to yield more numerous artifacts, attesting to the progressive demographic trends associated with tool-making hominins.
Tool-making was a highly effective adaptive strategy that allowed early Homo species (like H. georgicus and H. antecessor) to define their own niches within multiple environmental contexts, successfully competing for resources with large carnivorous animals. Early humans used stone tools to access the protein-rich meat, viscera, and bone marrow from large herbivore carcasses, nourishing their energy-expensive brains. The latter show significant increases in volume and organizational complexity throughout this time period.But were these early humans also competing with one another? So far (and keeping in mind the scarcity of skeletal remains dating to this period) the paleoanthropological record has not revealed signs of intraspecific violence suffered by Oldowan peoples. Their core-and-flake technologies and simple pounding tools do not include items that could be defined as functional armaments. While a lack of evidence does not constitute proof, we might consider recent estimates in paleodemography, backed by innovative digitized modelization methods and an increasing pool of genetic data that indicates relatively low population densities during the Oldowan.
Isolated groups consisted of few individuals, organized perhaps into clan-like social entities, widely spread over vast, resource-rich territories. These hominins invested in developing technological and social skills, cooperating with one another to adapt to new challenges posed by the changing environmental conditions that characterized the onset of the Quaternary period some 2.5 million years ago. Complex socialization processes evolved to perfect and share the capacity for technological competence, abilities that had important repercussions on the configuration of the brain that would eventually set humanity apart from other kinds of primates. Technology became inexorably linked to cognitive and social advances, fueling a symbiotic process now firmly established between anatomical and technological evolution.
By around one million years ago, Oldowan-producing peoples had been replaced by the technologically more advanced Acheulian hominins, globally attributed to H. erectus sensu lato. This phase of human evolution lasted nearly one and a half million years (globally from 1.75 to around 350,000 years ago) and is marked by highly significant techno-behavioral revolutions whose inception is traced back to Africa. Groundbreaking technologies like fire-making emerged during the Acheulian, as did elaborate stone production methods requiring complex volumetric planning and advanced technical skills. Tools became standardized into specifically designed models, signaling cultural diversity that varied geographically, creating the first land-linked morpho-technological traditions. Ever-greater social investment was required to learn and share the techniques needed to manipulate these technologies, as tools were converted into culture and technical aptitude into innovation.
In spite of marked increases in site frequencies and artifact densities throughout the Middle Pleistocene, incidences of interspecific violence are rarely documented and no large-scale violent events have been recognized so far. Were some Acheulian tools suitable for waging inter-populational conflicts? In the later phases of the Acheulian, pointed stone tools with signs of hafting and even wooden spears appear in some sites. But were these sophisticated tool kits limited to hunting? Or might they also have served for other purposes?
Culture evolves through a process I like to refer to as “technoselection” that in many ways can be likened to biological natural selection. In prehistory, technological systems are characterized by sets of morphotypes that reflect a specific stage of cognitive competence. Within these broad defining categories, however, we can recognize some anomalies or idiosyncratic techno-forms that can be defined as potential latent within a given system. As with natural selection, potential is recognized as structural anomalies that may be selected for under specific circumstances and then developed into new or even revolutionary technologies, converted through inventiveness. Should they prove advantageous to deal with the challenges at hand, these innovative technologies are adopted and developed further, expanding upon the existing foundational know-how and creating increasingly larger sets of material culture. Foundational material culture therefore exists in a state of exponential growth, as each phase is built upon the preceding one in a cumulative process perceived as acceleration.
I have already suggested elsewhere that the advanced degree of cultural complexity attained by the Late Acheulian, together with the capacity to produce fire, empowered hominins to adapt their nomadic lifestyles within more constrained territorial ranges. Thick depositional sequences containing evidence of successive living floors recorded in the caves of Eurasia show that hominins were returning cyclically to the same areas, most likely in pace with seasonal climate change and the migrational pathways of the animals they preyed upon. As a result, humans established strong links with the specific regions within which they roamed. More restrictive ranging caused idiosyncrasies to appear within the material and behavioral cultural repertoires of each group: specific ways of making and doing. As they lived and died in lands that were becoming their own, so too did they construct territorial identities that were in contrast with those of groups living in neighboring areas. As cultural productions multiplied, so did these imagined cultural “differences” sharpen, engendering the distinguishing notions of “us” and “them.”
Even more significant perhaps was the emergence and consolidation of symbolic thought processes visible, for example, in cultural manifestations whose careful manufacture took tool-making into a whole new realm of aesthetic concerns rarely observed in earlier toolkits. By around 400,000 years ago in Eurasia, pre-Neandertals and then Neandertal peoples were conferring special treatment to their dead, sometimes even depositing them with other objects suggestive of nascent spiritual practices. These would eventually develop into highly diverse social practices, like ritual and taboo. Cultural diversity was the keystone for new systems of belief that reinforced imagined differences separating territorially distinct groups.Anatomically modern humans (H. sapiens) appeared on the scene some 300,000 years ago in Africa and spread subsequently into lands already occupied by other culturally and spiritually advanced species of Homo. While maintaining a nomadic existence, these hominins were undergoing transformational demographic trends that resulted in more frequent interpopulation encounters. This factor, combined with the growing array of material and behavioral manifestations of culture (reflected by artifact multiplicity) provided a repository from which hominin groups stood in contrast with one another. At the same time, the mounting importance of symbolic behaviors in regulating hominin lifestyles contributed to reinforcing both real (anatomic) and imagined (cultural) variances. Intergroup encounters favored cultural exchange, inspiring innovation and driving spiraling techno-social complexity. In addition, they provided opportunities for sexual exchanges necessary for broadening gene pool diversity and avoiding inbreeding. At the same time, a higher number of individuals within each group would have prompted social hierarchization as a strategy to ensure the survival of each unit.

While much has been written about what Middle Paleolithic inter-specific paleo-encounters might have been like, in particular between the Neandertals and H. sapiens, solid evidence is lacking to support genocidal hypotheses or popularized images of the former annihilating the latter by way of violent processes. Today, such theories, fed by suppositions typical of the last century of the relative techno-social superiority of our own species, are falling by the wayside. Indeed, advances in archeology now show not only that we were interbreeding with the Neandertals, but also that Neandertal lifeways and cerebral processes were of comparable sophistication to those practiced by the modern humans they encountered. Presently, apart from sparse documentation for individual violent encounters, there is no evidence that large-scale violence caused the extinction of the Neandertals or of other species of Homo thriving coevally with modern humans. That said, it has been observed that the expansion of H. sapiens into previously unoccupied lands, like Australia and the Americas, for example, coincides ominously with the extinction of mega-faunal species. Interestingly, this phenomenon is not observed in regions with a long record of coexistence between humans and mega mammals, like Africa or India. It has been hypothesized that the reason for this is that animals that were unfamiliar with modern humans lacked the instinct to flee and hide from them, making them easy targets for mass hunting.

If large-scale human violence is difficult to identify in the Paleolithic record, it is common in later, proto-historic iconography. Evidence for warlike behavior (accumulations of corpses bearing signs of humanly-induced trauma) appear towards the end of the Pleistocene and after the onset of the Neolithic Period (nearly 12,000 years ago) in different parts of the world, perhaps in relation to new pressures due to climate change. Arguably, sedentary lifestyles and plant and animal domestication—hallmarks of the Neolithic—reset social and cultural norms of hunter-gatherer societies. Additionally, it may be that the amassing and storing of goods caused new inter-relational paradigms to take form, with individuals fulfilling different roles in relation to their capacities to benefit the group to which they belonged. The capacity to elaborate an abstract, symbolic worldview transformed land and resources into property and goods that “belonged” to one or another social unit, in relation to claims on the lands upon which they lived and from which they reaped the benefits. The written documents of the first literate civilizations, relating mainly to the quantification of goods, are revelatory of the effects of this transformational period of intensified production, hoarding and exchange. Differences inherent to the kinds of resources available in environmentally diverse parts of the world solidified unequal access to the kinds of goods invested with “value” by developing civilizations and dictated the nature of the technologies that would be expanded for their exploitation. Trading networks were established and interconnectedness favored improvements in technologies and nascent communication networks, stimulating competition to obtain more, better, faster.

From this vast overview, we can now more clearly see how the emergence of the notion of “others” that arose in the later phases of the Lower Paleolithic was key for kindling the kinds of behavioral tendencies required for preserving the production-consumption mentality borne after the Neolithic and still in effect in today’s overpopulated capitalist world.

Evolution is not a linear process and culture is a multifaceted phenomenon, but it is the degree to which we have advanced technology that sets us apart from all other living beings on the planet. War is not pre-programmed in our species, nor is it a fatality in our modern, globalized existence. Archeology teaches us that it is a behavior grounded in our own manufactured perception of “difference” between peoples living in distinct areas of the world with unequal access to resources. A social unit will adopt warlike behavior as a response to resource scarcity or other kinds of external challenges (for example, territorial encroachment by an ‘alien’ social unit). Finding solutions to eradicating large-scale warfare thus begins with using our technologies to create equality among all peoples, rather than developing harmful weapons of destruction.

From the emergence of early Homo, natural selection and technoselection have developed in synchronicity through time, transforming discrete structural anomalies into evolutionary strategies in unpredictable and interdependent ways. The big difference between these two processes at play in human evolution is that the former is guided by laws of universal equilibrium established over millions of years, while the latter exists in a state of exponential change that is outside of the stabilizing laws of nature.

Human technologies are transitive in the sense that they can be adapted to serve for different purposes in distinct timeframes or by diverse social entities. Many objects can be transformed into weapons. In the modern world plagued by terrorism, for example, simple home-made explosives, airplanes, drones, or vans can be transformed into formidable weapons, while incredibly advanced technologies can be used to increase our capacity to inflict desensitized and dehumanized destruction on levels never before attained.

Meanwhile, our advanced communication venues serve to share selected global events of warfare numbing the public into passive acceptance. While it is difficult to determine the exact point in time when humans selected large-scale warfare as a viable behavioral trait, co-opting their astounding technological prowess as a strategy to compete with each other in response to unprecedented demographic growth, there may yet be time for us to modify this trajectory toward resiliency, cooperation, and exchange.

 

Frontline Fishers Force Early End to New Orleans Gas Conference

Frontline Fishers Force Early End to New Orleans Gas Conference

Editor’s note: Fishermen are engaging resistance against the natural gas industry and its expansion of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals. They aim to defend their traditional work that goes back hundreds of years, their fishing habitats, and the health of their community. Europe, especially Germany, has increased its demand for LNG since refusing to buy gas from Russia when the attack on the Ukraine started. Texan gas company Cheniere delivered 70 percent of its natural gas supply to Europe last year.

At the border coast between Lousiana and Texas there is magnificent biodiversity which is barely found anywhere else in the US, such as marshes, coastal prairies and rare species like white alligators and brown pelicans. Nearly half of US wetlands in are in Louisiana.

Their LNG terminals are polluting air, the water and the soil, which is completely legal. They need to be stopped for good. This can only happen through a decrease in both economic growth and energy addiction, the elephant in the room that politicians and business people don’t want to talk about.

We wholeheartedly support this resistance against the gas conference. At the same time, we need to distinguish between subsistence fishing and commercial fishing. Subsistence fishing is a way of life where a community fishes in order for its survival. They share an understanding that their way of life is intricately intertwined with the health of the fish community. As a result, their intent is to fish in amounts that would not harm the river or oceanic community.

Commercial fishing, on the other hand, is driven by commercial interests and is, as a result, insatiable. Since the advent of industrial fishing, more than 90 percent of large fish in the ocean are gone. This ecocide is normalised as shifting baseline syndrome. In the seventeenth century, cod (from which cod liver oil was extracted) was so plentiful in the Northwest Atlantic that there was a saying that you could walk across the ocean on their backs. As a result of commercial fishing, these cod are nearing extinction. As a biophilic organization, DGR’s primary allegiance lies with the natural communities. We are against any action that harms the natural world, including commercial fishing.

In the current context of overshoot, there is also a need to reevaluate subsistence fishing. Subsistence fishing of an abundant species does not harm the fish community. However, since commercial fishing has endangered many of those once abundant species, subsistence fishing of these now endangered species might even lead to extinction.


Frontline Fishers Force Early End to New Orleans Gas Conference

By Olivia Rosane/Common Dreams

Frontline fishers and environmental justice advocates forced the meeting of the Americas Energy Summit in New Orleans to end two hours early on Friday, as they protested what the buildout of liquefied natural gas infrastructure is doing to Gulf Coast ecosystems and livelihoods.

Fishers and shrimpers from southwest Louisiana say that new LNG export terminals are destroying habitat for marine life while the tankers make it unsafe for them to take their boats out in the areas where fishing is still possible. The destruction is taking place in the port of Cameron, which once saw the biggest catch of any fishing area in the U.S.

“We want our oystering back. We want our shrimp back. We want our dredges back. We want LNG to leave us alone,” Cameron fisherman Solomon Williams Jr. said in a statement. “With all the oil and all the stuff they’re dumping in the water, it’s just killing every oyster we can get. Makes it so we can’t sell our shrimp.”

The protest was part of the growing movement against LNG export infrastructure, which is both harming the health and environment of Gulf Coast residents and risks worsening the climate crisis: Just one of the more than 20 proposed new LNG terminals, Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass 2, would release 20 times the lifetime emissions of the controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska. Activists have also planned a sit-in at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., from February 6-8 to demand the agency stop approving new LNG export terminals.

The Americas Energy Summit is one of the largest international meetings of executives involved in the exporting of natural gas. More than 40 impacted fishers brought their boats to New Orleans to park them outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, where the meeting was being held. After a march from Jackson Square, the fishers revved their engines to disrupt the meeting. One attendee said the disruption forced the meeting to conclude at 11 am ET, two hours earlier than scheduled.

 

“Wen you’re here on the ground, seeing it with your own eyes and talking to the people… it feels like looking into the devil’s eyes.”

“They going to run us out of the channel and if they run us out of the channel then it’s over,” Phillip Dyson Sr., a fisherman who attended the protest with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, said in a statement. “We fight for them. We fight for my grandson. Been a fighter all my life. I ain’t going to stop now. So long as I got breathe I’m going to fight for my kids. They are the future. Fishing industry been here hundreds of years and now they’re trying to stop us. I don’t think it’s right.”

The fishers were joined by other local and national climate advocates, including Sunrise New Orleans, Permian Gulf Coast Coalition, Habitat Recovery Project, the Vessel Project, For a Better Bayou, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and actress and activist Jane Fonda.

“I thought I understood. I read the articles, I read the science, I’ve seen the photographs. But when you’re here on the ground, seeing it with your own eyes and talking to the people… it feels like looking into the devil’s eyes,” Fonda said at the protest. “I’ve talked to people who have lost what was theirs over generations and are losing their livelihoods, the fishing, the oystering, the shrimping…”

Fonda called on the Biden administration to take action: “If President [Joe] Biden declared a climate emergency he could take money from the Pentagon and he could reinstate the crude oil export [ban]. Once the export ends, the drilling will end. They’re only drilling because they can export it.”

The successful action came despite interference from police, who threatened to issue tickets and tow away the six boats the fishers had originally parked in front of the convention center. Some participants agreed to move their boats, but the group was able to park two boats in front of the center and persevere in their protest.

“We’re standing in the fire down there. And these people over here, the decisions that they make, for which our fishermen are paying the price. That’s bullshit,” Travis Dardar, who organized the fishers’ trip and founded the group Fishermen Involved in Sustaining our Heritage (FISH), said in a statement.” The police got us blocked here, they got us blocked there. But know that the fishermen are here and we’re still going to try and give them hell.”

https://x.com/labucketbrigade/status/1748376021412294825?s=20


More on The Louisiana Bucket Brigade and it’s movement against LNG


Photo by MsLightbox/Getty Images SIgnature via Canva.com

Greenwashing the Blue Economy

Greenwashing the Blue Economy

Editor’s Note: After exploiting almost every land on Earth, the industrial economy has now moved on to exploit the sea. Exploiters do not view the sea as many of us do: a deep body of water that is home to unimaginably large number of creatures. They see the sea as they view any other place on Earth: a huge reservoir of resources that might profit them. These profits come in many forms: greater wealth, which in turn is control over even more resources, and an ability to surround oneself with and have power over more people to do their bidding. It is for this that they are destroying life on Earth.

But, of course, that is not something they could publicly acknowledge. They have to create a more “righteous” justification for their not-so-righteous action. This is why they, in a cruel twist of words, claim to exploit the sea to protect the environment. In the following piece, Julia Barnes explains how the blue economy is just another form of greenwashing. Julia Barnes is the director of the award-winning documentaries Sea of Life and Bright Green Lies. She is a co-founder of Deep Sea Defenders, a campaign dedicated to protecting the marine environment from seabed mining. deepseadefenders.org


The Blue Economy and Greenwashing

By Julia Barnes

The term “blue economy” was first introduced in 2012, at the United Nations climate change conference in Qatar, COP18.

It has become a buzzword used by ocean conservationists and industry alike. But what does this term actually mean? And more importantly, what are the implications for the ocean?

Definitions vary. For some, the term simply describes economic activities taking place at sea. However, most interpretations include language around sustainability, conservation, or better stewardship.

According to Google/Oxford Languages, the blue economy is defined as:

blue economy

noun

an economic system or sector that seeks to conserve marine and freshwater environments while using them in a sustainable way to develop economic growth and produce resources such as energy and food.

Embedded in this definition are the values and assumptions of the dominant culture: the idea that economic growth is desirable, that the ocean consists of resources to be exploited, and that these resources can be “developed” in a sustainable way.

Sustainable has become perhaps the most meaningless word in the English language. It has been pasted in front of nearly every destructive activity imaginable; used as a rhetorical shield to deflect criticism. We now have sustainable mining, sustainable forestry, sustainable fisheries, and sustainable energy. Yet, the real world effects of these activities remain the same: they are destroying the planet.

Some examples of sectors within the blue economy include: industrial fishing, aquaculture, shipping, coastal and marine tourism, energy (wind, waves, tidal, biofuel, offshore oil and gas), ocean-based carbon credits, mineral resources (deep sea mining, dredging, sand mining), and biotechnology (marine genetic resources, industrial enzymes) – all of which the ocean would be better off without.

The problem isn’t that these industries are being done in an unsustainable way and can somehow be tweaked to become sustainable; unsustainability is inherent to what they are, and to the economic model under which they operate – a model that demands infinite extractive growth despite the fact that our planet is finite and has already been largely denuded of life, a model that objectifies the ocean and values it only for the profit humans can extract from it.

The notion of a sustainable blue economy provides the illusion of protection. Meanwhile, industry and corporations are doubling down on their efforts to exploit the sea, extracting living organisms faster than the rate at which they can reproduce, destroying habitat, wiping out vulnerable species, and pushing new frontiers of extraction. Carbon capture schemes are popping up, abusing the sea in a shell game that legitimises continued emissions through supposed carbon “offsets”. Genetic prospecting threatens to privatize and commodify the very DNA of our nonhuman kin. Deep sea mining threatens to disrupt the ocean on a scale not previously seen. Offshore energy projects (for fossil fuels and so-called renewables) impose damage on the sea while providing power to the system that is at the root of the problem.

At a time when we should be pulling back, reducing our impact, and allowing the ocean to regenerate, the blue economy offers instead to continue business as usual, only rebranded.

As with so many of the things that have been marketed to us as “green”, the blue economy is primarily about sustaining a gluttonous way of life at the expense of life on the planet.

What if instead of defining the ocean as a resource, we valued it for what it really is? A living community vital to the functioning of our planet. The foundation of life on Earth. An entity with volition of its own. A force much older, larger, and wiser than we are. Something so powerful, beautiful, and magical, it cannot be described in words but can certainly be felt. Something sacred and deserving of respect.

The ocean is already collapsing under the many assaults of the global industrial economy. Further commodifying it under a vague claim of sustainability will not solve the problem.

Sabotage on Tesla: The Confessional Letter

Sabotage on Tesla: The Confessional Letter

Sabotage on Tesla – Editorial

By Benja Weller

It’s a chilly spring night in early March in Gruenheide, which is around 40 km (25 miles) away from Berlin. A few determined people walk across a flat meadow surrounded by pine forests at a wintry zero degrees. They stop at a high-voltage pylon, ignite the cables, then trigger a short circuit with water. Flames shoot up with the help of car tires, the high-voltage pylon spits fire into the darkness of the night.

It may have happened roughly like this when the environmental activists from the Vulkangruppe Tesla Abschalten! (Volcano Group Switch-off Tesla!) successfully committed an act of sabotage on March 7 against the Gigafactory Tesla, Europe’s only E-car factory.

Huge Financial Losses

The power at the nearby plant goes out immediately and it’s assembly line producing 500,000 vehicles a year, comes to a standstill.

The Volcano Group, which published a letter of confession rated as genuine, calls it a “total failure of a seemingly unassailable giant”.

A few days later employees gather in solidarity in front of the Tesla plant to show that they stand by their employer, as if he needed that empathy. Elon Musk though knows how to twist the opinions in his favor, stating that  “the dumbest eco-terrorists in the world […] are puppets of those who have no good environmental goals,” in other words: he’s the one with excellent environmental goals and clearly not a puppet but a master.

Today, on March 12, the Gigafactory is running again in slow capacity, but these five days of production stoppage have caused a loss in the “high nine-digit range”, although according to a podcast by the FAZ newspaper this refers to profit rather than turnover. Car bodies had to be scrapped and robots repurposed. Tesla shares slumped by 3%.

Not bad for one burning high-voltage pole.

Citizens Against Clearcutting

There were 5,000 households and small businesses cut off from the power supply for several hours. The environmental activists apologize for this and said that there would have been no other way to shut down Tesla without risking a power outage in other areas. However, they would have ensured that no human lives were put at risk.

The activist group is not alone in its criticism of the Gigafactory: the Gruenheide Citizens’ Initiative and Tesla den Hahn Abdrehen! (Turnoff Tesla’s Tap) have been protesting against environmental poisoning and water shortages since the car manufacturer’s launch. Now Musk wants to expand the plant by 170 hectares.

A week before the sabotage, environmentalists joined forces to protest against the expansion by occupying a woodland where they set up a camp in the region, the police have approved the protests until Friday. Most of Gruenheide’s residents also oppose the expansion, for which Tesla wants to clear 100 hectares of forest.

Sabotage Weakens Industries

The Volcano group is now accused of anti-constitutional sabotage and will be prosecuted severely. But it was worth it, because our society needs these wake-up calls of property damage that temporarily paralyze the infrastructure of corporations.

The batteries for electric cars require rare earths and lithium, which are produced under the most catastrophic environmental and working conditions, so we cannot look the other way and leave it as it is without reacting.

It takes sabotage to leave a statement that makes international news. Common people see the industries and their power as untouchable, as natural, when in fact they’re only manmade so men (and women) can undo the damage that has been done to our only and sacred planet.

With the attack of the Volcano Group we see that powerful corporations are not as powerful as they seem. That small acts can have big impacts.

We stand up for this sabotage action, because the exploitation of nature and people has reached a level that we have to fight from all kinds of levels.


Here you can find some photos of the attack

Protests on March 10 against Tesla’s expansion


Volcano Group Switch-off Tesla! : Attack on power supply

The confession letter from March 5:

We sabotaged Tesla today. Because Tesla in Grünau eats up earth, resources, people, manpower and spits out 6000 SUVś, killer machines and monster trucks per week. Our gift for March 8 is to shut down Tesla.
Because the complete destruction of the Gigafactory and with it the cutting off of “techno-fascists” like Elon Musk is a step on the path to liberation from the patriarchy.

The Gigafactory has become known for its extreme conditions of exploitation. The factory contaminates the groundwater and consumes huge amounts of the already scarce drinking water resource for its products. The state of Brandenburg-Berlin is being dug up for Tesla without any scruples.

Critics at the waterworks, local residents and eco-activists are being silenced. Figures are embellished. Laws are being bent. People are deceived. Yet a large part of the population around Grünheide rejects the Gigafactory because of water theft and gentrification. The protest and resistance continues unabated. And it is growing, because there is more than one reason. In addition to the dirty battery factory, Tesla now wants to expand its factory site by a further 100 hectares, including for a freight yard. An expansion of the storage and logistics areas directly at the plant (including the possibility of intensive rail logistics) is intended to help stabilize supply chains and production. This is currently impaired because deliveries from the forced labor camps in China cannot take the direct route through the Red Sea. The Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs is eating out of Tesla’s hand, despite many reasons for refusing any approval. The only important thing is that Brandenburg is flourishing as a business location.

Tesla is a symbol of “green capitalism” and a totalitarian technological attack on society.

The myth of green growth is just a dirty ideological magic trick to close the ranks against domestic criticism. It suggests a way out of the climate catastrophe. But “green capitalism” stands for colonialism, land theft and an exacerbation of the climate crisis! Lithium batteries come from toxic mines in Chile and devour other rare metals, which means misery and destruction for the people in the mining areas. The battery factory in Grünheide near Berlin, for example, requires the rare raw material lithium, which is also mined in Bolivia. Musk puts his cards on the table to push through lithium mining in Bolivia: “We will coup if we want to”, commenting on the indigenous resistance to mining. Mineral resources are being ripped from the earth under brutal conditions. The “green deal” is merely the expansion of economic growth without limits. In Portugal, too, the rural population is resisting the forced extraction of lithium.

Just as the earth is used and raped on a daily basis, Tesla does the same with people. And has forced laborers all over the world, such as Uyghur people in China, working (to death) for it (just like VW), whom the racist Chinese regime serves up to the company for its production. Even in Grünheide, the working conditions are considered catastrophic. Only recently, a works council member of IG Metall in Grünheide was dismissed. Despite a yellow works council installed by Tesla, the conditions in the factory are leaking out. In order to improve accident statistics, people are taken to hospital by cab instead of by emergency call and ambulance. Internal opponents are dismissed and if they take legal action, they are forced into a legal settlement. The compensation is then used as a muzzle, for example to stifle public discussion of a racist dismissal by threatening contractual penalties. The terminated employee has to shut up for the money – that is the calculation.
The totalitarian technological attack then looks like this.

A Tesla vehicle is a surveillance device for public spaces

It is equipped all around with high-resolution cameras from Samsung. Samsung is a company that is a leader in weapons technology, among other things.

According to the manufacturer, the cameras record up to 250 meters away. In “guard mode”, they film everything in the vicinity of the vehicle and guarantee that the driver is also monitored while driving. The driver is already a free integral part of the Telsa universe and a guinea pig. Artificial intelligence will register every movement and every mistake made by the driver and monetize it in order to train the software for autonomous driving with the data.
Tesla is militarizing the road. Its moving tanks are weapons of war. The car as a weapon. The road is the battlefield.

Instead of 9mm, Tesla has now introduced 856 hp to the world: “If you get into a fight with other cars, you will win,” says Elend Musk.*

*Elend means misery in German, a word play for Elon (comment by the editor)

A Tesla is a status symbol, statement and propaganda at the same time: for contempt for humanity, boundless destruction through “progress” and an imperial, patriarchal way of life.
Anyone who buys an SUV is most likely a supporter of an imperial way of life who wants to profit from this madness to the bitter end. Every activist’s secret poetry album should include a scrapped Tesla. No Tesla in the world should be safe from our flaming rage. Every Tesla that burns sabotages the imperial way of life and effectively destroys the ever-tightening network of seamless smart surveillance of every expression of human life.

Armies use Tesla’s Starlink satellite system in their wars

For example in Ukraine. Russia’s army also accesses Starlink satellite terminals from third countries to carry out attacks. Israel also uses the Starlink satellite system to murder people in Gaza. Tesla’s Starlink infrastructure is a military player. Rolled up like a string of pearls of garbage, they plow through the sky to make surveillance total.
Let’s talk about a man who will crumble to dust, even if he would rather be immortal: Elon Musk.
For men like him, the swear word has not yet been invented that could aptly describe them in their arrogance, contempt for humanity and anti-social greed for power and recognition.

He makes no secret of his chauvinism. His propaganda platform X is the means to an end. This is where he gathers supporters of an imperial way of life. This is where anti-Semites, anti-feminists, authoritarians, chauvinists, fascists and supporters of hatred against “foreigners” reassure themselves. This is where they organize themselves with their elitist view of the world and as master race. This is where the Aryans of the AfD meet their peers.

When Elon Musk cheers the anti-feminist and neoliberal president of Argentina on X, it is because they are united. There is no shyness in this regard, they have decided to stand on the side of a deadly masculinism and drag a trail of blood behind them like a man-eating monster.

Elon Musk is the new type of neoliberal and patriarchal, neocolonial predatory capitalist of this century, who uses different means than the exploiters before him in the last century.

It is an invasive zeitgeist that uses the self-fabricated economic crises of valorization in order to tackle the next destruction. It is only following in the prepared brown footsteps of other patriarchal pioneers. Even the “carmaker” Henry Ford was an admirer of the Nazis with their “Volkswagen” and their efficient organization of industry. The plant in Wolfsburg was run on the backs of forced laborers. Every German was to be able to get a Volkswagen in order to reach their destination by car or tank on the new autobahn. Ford, inspired by the efficiency of German labour organization, transferred the ideas to his empire in the USA. The attack on workers and the economization of exploitation became known as “Fordism”.

This included work organization and assembly line work – mass production with simultaneous mass consumption of the car. The model, also known as Taylorism, was also a class struggle from above. Elon Musk combines the invasive technological possibilities of our time with his mysogynistic world view, patriarchal extremism and the totalitarian attitude typical of his caste. As a “car manufacturer”, he is a revenant in historical tradition. In keeping with the times, he acts as a “techno-fascist”.
Instead of scrapping the car on the garbage heap of history and expanding free public transport, only the drive technology is being changed, from combustion engines to electric motors, in order to save individual transport. The imperial way of life is economically more lucrative.

The positions of power allow patriarchal “visionaries” such as Elon Musk to experiment with the most “advanced” forms of exploitation and with the available resource of “human beings” in the most terrible sense.

Conquering new territories and penetrating the earth without being asked

Into space, into the sky, into public space, into our heads – the rapist leaves nothing untouched. The neurotechnology company Neuralink aims to link human brains with machines. It is using animals to test how streams of thought can be read. Just like SpaceX and Tesla, Neuralink is also aiming for a long-term perspective in which people are worth different things. In which some people are entitled to a better life within the ecological catastrophe that is already underway.

Even if you are not on X, formerly Twitter, if you are just walking through the public streets, you will still be touched by this wretched man and his cameras and propaganda. The positions of power allow a permanent encroachment, an invasive relationship towards all life that can only be stopped by resolute resistance. The “technological progress” of the epochs offers them, the “techno-fascists”, a tool of possibilities with which the exploitation and indescribable destruction of the planet is always topped off.

In its abundance of power, this type can sometimes act like a head of state without having been elected

They have the necessary means of production and the “human” resource to make political decisions. This type can buy heads of state or bring parties to power, even if they are called Hitler. This type is the mastermind behind the alleged decision-makers of governments. They can impose conditions on states or reduce heads of state to supplicants. The patriarchal system churns out tons of people like this, they strive for the top because that corresponds to the patriarchal model. They stage coups when things don’t go their way. They are replaceable. Only their power gives them these opportunities – without power they are just pompous, ridiculous egomaniacs. They have been driving millions of people to their deaths for centuries, destroying nature as if it belonged to them. If we don’t destroy the system that produces such egomaniacs, new ones of their kind will emerge. So it is not (only) about misery Musk – but about an imperial way of life – that these men are imposing on us. It’s about a showdown between an imperial way of life versus freedom for all people.

This type of person and their economic concept represent a minority on this planet who believe that this imperial way of life is the only right one. What is new is that the tipping points that show us the finite nature of this destructive way of life have been passed in many cases. Other tipping points are approaching at breathtaking speed. Year by year, month by month, day by day.
(If all else failed, Elon Musk and a handful of slaves and his ilk would flee the consequences of his imperial way of life and insult Mars with his presence. But our strong extra-planetary allies are already waiting for him; solar storms would crash his rocket, as they have done to 30% of his satellites in space before. So we will win.)

Many people still consider this way of life and the supposed wealth associated with it to be natural and desirable

Many people, clouded and misguided, confuse possessions and material wealth with freedom and happiness. Ignorance, manipulation and fear characterize generations of many people. We are reduced to work and consumption and degraded to an imperial way of life. This material wealth at the expense of other people is an indictment of “civilization”. This way of life does not make its beneficiaries happy either. The alternatives are made invisible or destroyed in the making. Approaches that could benefit humanity without generating money or power are delegitimized. Indigenous ways of life that relate to nature and its protection have been and are being wiped out. Emancipatory approaches that go to the roots have been drowned in blood in all eras. Or revolutionary movements are corrupted, infiltrated, their “leaders” bought in order to secure domination and the progress of destruction for decades to come.

On the eve of March 8th, we therefore lit a beacon against capital, patriarchy, colonialism and Tesla

We counter the ongoing rape of the earth with sabotage. The ideology of limitless economic growth and a belief in progress based on destruction have reached their end. In order for Europe to become a “first-class investment location with a strong industrial ecosystem”, giants like Tesla are still being rolled out of the way. But something is slipping. We, a broad and colorful resistance, are rolling them back down. We are the heaps of rubble and grains of sand in the gears of a machine that is stamping inexorably forward. We are disruptive factors in the engine room. We are the desperate and the outcasts. We are middle-class people in Germany or migrants on the run. We can be many people in the forest and in the tree houses and on the street, we can be covert sabotage groups like ours. It can also be people in the gigafactory who take revenge on their foreman’s machines for his working conditions. We can be caught, beaten, humiliated, raped or murdered – but we are in the right. Only violence can keep us down. But we will get up again. And others will come after us.

With our sabotage, we have set ourselves the goal of the largest possible blackout of the Gigafactory. We have ruled out endangering our lives and the lives of others. The shutdown of production in the automotive industry is the beginning of the end of a world of destruction. Our bonfire of liberation was aimed at supplying Tesla with electricity. We wanted to hit the overhead line of a high-voltage pylon in the connection to the underground cables at the watertight cable sleeves and short-circuit the six 110 kV cables inside. To do this, we opened the shaft to the cable joints, half of which was under water. We still flamed the exposed power cables and, in combination with the water, may have caused a short circuit. Damage to cable joints is often time-consuming and expensive to repair. At the same time, we set the fire large and high with lots of car tires to weaken the steel structure and cause the mast to become unstable.

A steel mast only melts at around 1300 -1500 degrees. As we were working with a heat development of around 900 degrees, the aim was to change the mechanical properties of the mast. As a steel structure under load, a rapid, large fire from 500 degrees upwards can lead to a loss of strength and change the stiffness, yield strength and elasticity of the metal. This can lead to buckling effects, twisting or deflection. That was our intention.

We feel connected to all the people who are fighting around the world and who are reaching out with our words

We feel connected to all the people who will not let Tesla turn off the tap. If we want to win against such giants as Tesla, we need many forms of resistance. Ours is one of many. Unpredictable and diverse, only together can we force the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs to respect the will of the people. Minister of Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach (SPD) sees the result of the vote by the residents of Grünheide (71% against the expansion of the Tesla factory site) as just one important vote. Above all, he sees the vote as a “healing opportunity”, which means that Tesla has not succeeded in convincing people and the company still has to do its homework in order to divide, buy, cajole and persuade the population. He does not accept the public’s “no” and calls on Tesla to soften the “no” by May.

Everyone is free to be openly or secretly happy about our action. Anyone who feels compelled to distance themselves should ask themselves why? And who has an interest in this?

Together we will bring Tesla to its knees. Switch off for Tesla.

Share the declaration. Translate it and send it to other people in the global struggle.

Volcano Group switch-off Tesla!

The addendum from March 11:

Follow-up to the arson attack on Tesla

Open letter to the citizens’ initiative in Grünheide and the alliance “Tesla den Hahn Abdrehen” (Turnoff Tesla’s Tap).
To the various organizations and action groups. To the squatters.
To the private households affected by the power outage.

We, the “Shutdown Tesla Volcano Group!”, speak only for ourselves. We do not speak for other Volcano Groups. Nevertheless, we have been inspired by the content of the actions of other Volcano Groups and have adopted formulations and content that have convinced us. By and large, we share the actions that have been carried out by Volcano Groups since 2011. So much for the many speculations about our group “Shutdown the Tesla Volcano Group!”.

We do not speak for the citizens’ initiative in Grünheide, nor for the “Tesla den Hahn Abdrehen” alliance, nor for other organizations and action groups that criticize Tesla, protest and develop resistance for various reasons. What we have in common is the intention to put up barriers to Tesla and prevent the planned battery factory and other corporate logistics, even if our approach goes far beyond that. This is not a problem for us. We see no reason to distance ourselves from public groups and respect your work.

We recognize the great pressure that some local groups were unable to escape after our attack with its far-reaching consequences

We read many statements as uncertainty rather than distancing. We also understand the concern about the status of the occupied site in the forest or the worry about acceptance among the population. Why allow yourself to be put under pressure and not react calmly to blatant calls to distance yourself? There is no reason to distance yourself from our action, for which you are not responsible. Distancing yourself from each other is not very helpful. Everyone is free to be openly or secretly happy about our action and the shutdown at Tesla. Anyone who feels compelled to distance themselves should ask themselves why? And who has an interest in this?

Nor do we believe that we have harmed the “cause”. For one thing, the “cause” is seen differently. For another, we are proposing a different perspective:
We have been able to implement “Stop Tesla” in the short term. The total failure of a seemingly unassailable giant should bring tears of joy to all our eyes and give us courage beyond the pressure that weighs on us. The nimbus of the unassailable has been broken by this action. And as important as the regional level is, the international context is just as important. The resistance against Tesla has been put in an international light by the action and has also brought attention, encouragement and support to the local resistance.
We have the greatest pressure. The head of Brandenburg’s CDU has expressed the strategy of the investigating authorities at the highest level. The aim is to catch the perpetrators and punish them severely in order to deter others from coming up with similar ideas.
The accusation of “anti-constitutional sabotage” is countered by the “right to resist”. The idea is in the world, even if we could be caught.

We are biased. We are handing over further political evaluation and classification to other militant groups

The scale and impact of the action is already huge. Even before our letter on the arson became known, Tesla shares fell by 3%. The market does not forgive vulnerability and weakness. After all, an international “global player” of the “technological attack” on society was severely hit and demonstrated. This signal was not only immediately understood by the country’s economically liberal politicians, but was also evaluated at the highest levels of business representatives and politics. Within hours of the letter becoming known, the various institutions attempted to avert the damage to Brandenburg’s and Germany’s image as an investment paradise and took countermeasures. Jörg Steinbach from the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs immediately phoned Elon Musk. They assured each other of their common interests for the future.

We recommend that the citizens, the local groups and the tree houses allow themselves to be less impressed by our action

And less influenced by the pressure to distance themselves, and instead study the reactions of politics, the state and ultimately the economy more closely.

Because here it becomes clear how determinedly the opponents are trying to push through the further Tesla settlement. It is clear how resolutely the social model of “destructive progress” is being adhered to. We will not go into the content of the latter here. Some older texts by other Volcano Groups and many other militant groups have said something about this.

We don’t just want to prevent something. Together, we are all in a position to initiate a change of direction. Tesla can become one of the crystallization points of this confrontation with the global social model of “destructive progress”. So it goes far beyond the regional.
In these dark times, our action is a small beacon that, with the old tires and our measurements on site, came to around 1000 degrees. Sabotage groups like ours are an important part of the resistance, even if the priorities of other important groups are different. No small militant group alone, no regional group and no non-violent action group that has traveled here can defeat this major opponent. Stopping Tesla can only be done together.
We are not distancing ourselves.

For us, non-violent and militant are not contradictory

In order to divide the movement against Tesla, politicians and the investigating authorities have resorted to the familiar rhetorical tricks. “Left-wing extremists”, “Green RAF”, “terrorism”, “stupidest eco-terrorists in the world”, “children of the RAF”, “blind destructive rage”, “close to terrorism”, “internationally operating criminal gang”, “terrorist organization” are all attempts at stigmatization. Rather, it is also about a desolidarization within the population! This rhetoric misses the core of the problem. We are not terrorists and will not become terrorists. We don’t work for Rheinmetall. We are not called Elon Musk. We don’t let people mine lithium under horrific conditions. We are not destroying the earth. We don’t trade grain on the stock exchange. We don’t want to kill other people or accept their deaths to maximize profits.
We even save the snails on the electricity pylon before we light it on fire minutes later.

We have ruled out any risk to human life. The operation would never have been carried out if we had had the slightest doubt about it. We bore the greatest risk. Here, too, we could not afford to make a mistake.

In contrast to Tesla, hospitals and old people’s homes with medical equipment, for example, are equipped with a redundant system. As our action was clear in its objective and consequences, the other side must try everything possible to publicly discredit the successful arson. They gratefully seized on the “stupidest eco-terrorists in the world” slogan from the “techno-fascist” Elon Musk. Within a few hours, Brandenburg’s politicians tried to get a grip on the power of interpretation over the attack. The reception of the action in the media was often revealing.
All of us in the protest and resistance can learn a lot from the action. And crucially, none of the substantive arguments put forward publicly have been able to refute our position so far.

We can only laugh about the raging misery Musk

Of course, he has to insult us as the “dumbest eco-terrorists” because he defends his business model, to which we have put a visible scratch on his body. Since, according to the latest reports, he will be a potential donor for the presidential election campaign of the putschist Trump, we are happy to have burned some of “his” money. This money is lacking elsewhere. Because misery Musk doesn’t have insurance. We are pleasantly surprised by the amount of damage caused by the blackout, but honestly; 10 million, several 100 million or one billion euros are beyond our imagination. The longer the Gigafactory is sealed, the better for Earth. Switch-OFF! Tesla.

There is only one thing for which we would like to apologize. We didn’t see any way to carry out the action without about 5,000 households and small businesses being without electricity for five hours. According to the media, all private households had electricity again at 10:22 a.m. If we had seen another option, we would have acted differently. Before the action, we were not able to check whether only Tesla was hanging from the high-voltage pylon that had been specially converted for it or whether private households were also hanging on it. It was about Tesla, not about our homes where we live. We apologize to all those affected.

Greeting and kiss

Your “dumbest eco-terrorists in the world” in the Volcano Group Switch-off Tesla!


Photo by Anja/Pixabay
Event: Will Changing Behaviours Secure the Future?

Event: Will Changing Behaviours Secure the Future?

Editor’s note: This is not a DGR sponsored event. While we may not agree with all of the analysis, this event may offer some useful points into understanding the disease of wetiko. DGR knows that the only way to secure the future of life on the planet is to dismantle civilization, which is the source of the dominant culture’s behaviours. This can not be accomplished through individual lifestyle and behaviour change. But it can be accomplished by joining together with like minded people that hold the commitment to fight against the destruction of the planet that is done in the name of “progress”.

Will Changing Behaviors Secure the Future?

Tuesday, March 12th, we will be discussing how to shift the Growth economy toward an economy which serves people and ecosystems first.

A Zoom and face-to-face gathering will take place at the Kanata Legion (70 Hines Road, Ottawa, Canada) on Tuesday, March 12th. The meeting, with Zoom, begins at 1:00 pm (EST) with short panel presentations setting the theme, followed by discussion. It will be preceded for those in the area with social time and bring your own lunch. Doors open at 11:00 am. The event will be recorded and added to CACOR’s YouTube channel.
The Zoom link is:
This session is hosted by Values Committee of the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome (CACOR) and is inspired by: World Scientists’ Warning: The behavioural crisis driving ecological overshoot; Joseph J Merz, Phoebe Barnard, William E Rees, Dane Smith, Mat Maroni, Christopher J Rhodes, Julia H Dederer, Nandita Bajaj, Michael K Joy, Thomas Wiedmann, Rory Sutherland, 2023. The panel will consist of Andrew Welch and Mike Nickerson, facilitated by Lalith Gunaratne with introductions by Gabriela Gref-Innes.
The Starting Theme:
Even with CO2 reduction and renewable electrification of everything, we still have to deal with the Growth based system that is overwhelming Earth.
Humankind needs to pioneer new values and cultural forms that are not dependent on continuous Growth.
Some Questions to consider:
What are the psychological and other reasons that society adheres to the “Growth Everlasting” ideology ?
How is that ideology being sustained ? How is commercialization and marketing hijacking human impulses and public domain.
How might we work with humanity’s underlying motivations to secure long-term well-being in response to the problems of growing past Earth’s ability to sustain us ?
Meeting details:
As with CACOR’s previous gatherings, doors will open at 11, with a $5.00 charge to cover the cost of the room rental. You can bring your own lunch or something to share with the group. Coffee and tea will be available and the bar will be open for wine and beer sale. Plenty of free parking is available.
Hoping you can join us,
Yours, Mike N.
A world at peace and in balance with the environment is hard for our minds to grasp, but it is not beyond the capacity of our hearts to experience and to hunger for.
Seventh Generation Initiative
CACOR