Monday, November 10, 2008

Industrial capitalism is a given and the natural world is secondary

Thomas Paine's Corner


Melissa Gragg and Jason Miller interview Derrick Jensen


“Top priorities may not be any of those five. It may be continuing to stabilize the financial system. We don’t know yet what’s going to happen in January. And none of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system or the financial system. So that’s priority number one, making sure that the plumbing works in our capitalist system.”

—President-Elect Barack Obama

Ironically, it is the plumbing of that capitalist system that we are using as we flush the future of life on Earth down the toilet.

We can “elect” a charismatic, intelligent man from a brutally oppressed minority to be our president to purge our collective guilt, mouth “feel good” platitudes, celebrate the triumph of “democracy,” and delude ourselves into believing we are preparing to warp back to a fictitious golden era when America was a benevolent guardian of humanity and the Earth, but that doesn’t change the fact that industrial capitalism is rendering this planet uninhabitable.

And just two days after the “election,” we learned that our newly minted “savior,” for whom we were desperate after eight years of “anomalous” malevolence under the Bush administration, is making the viability of our violent, irrational, unstable, exploitative, unjust, and unsustainable socioeconomic paradigm “priority number one.”

Obama has sold his soul to capitalism, a way of being premised on greed, selfishness, materialism, alienation, and infinite growth—a recipe for ecocide.

Perhaps the best “change” for which we can “hope” is that more people will awaken and fall into a despair that spurs them to do something about the rapidly deteriorating state of our environment, frighteningly large increases in the number of extinct species, rising scarcity of potable water, ecological overshoot, and a host of other symptoms of the terminal disease Obama blithely calls the “capitalist system.”

Let’s glean some insight from Derrick Jensen, an anarcho-primitivist, author, lecturer, philosopher, and tireless fighter for a beleaguered, dying planet. Here is a back and forth he had with radical activist, Melissa Gragg, and Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor, Jason Miller, on 4/15/08:

Read the entire interview:

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