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Derrick Jensen has Inspired Me to Question Civilization

Derrick Jensen has Inspired Me to Question Civilization

liberate from civilizationPhoto: Hartwig HKD/Flickr CC.

I rode my horse out through the woods the other day. It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon as golden light filtered through the trees. My horse was keen to graze in an open meadow, so we found a spot where he could forage for some greenery among the late season grasses.

On my ride out, I had been thinking about the widening gulf between the natural world and contemporary civilization. I had recently read Derrick Jensen’s anthology, How Shall I Live My Life: On Liberating the Earth from CivilizationIn this collection of interviews, Jensen discusses the destructive dominant culture with various people who have devoted their lives to trying to re-vision it.

In the meadow, it seemed as if I were surrounded by the natural world.

There were birds, rabbits, deer, trees, grasses, insects and even a dried up creek bed. I could hear my horse snorting softly, with satisfaction, as he munched.

But, I also heard the sounds of the dominant culture’s industrialization — the railroad, the highway, chainsaws, lawn mowers, motorcycles, backhoes, leaf blowers, motorized children’s toys. All vestiges of our current civilization.

It didn’t have to go this way. We could have built a civilization that harmonized with our home, the Earth. But we didn’t. Instead, we built a civilization that revolved around money. And, as Marx said, money is dead. So, if we’ve built a culture around something that is dead, we will soon become dead ourselves. And kill the whole planet in the process.

As we begin to notice this, we can challenge the idea that a life motivated by desire for personal gain is either necessary or desirable. We can point to things like the collapse of the environment, suffering of the Third World, alienation, the harried style in which we live and the reductionistic values of most of Western culture.

– See more at: http://transitionvoice.com/2015/10/derrick-jensen-has-inspired-me-to-question-civilization/#sthash.5oHuGZvM.dpuf

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