Friday, August 12, 2011

Stopping a large, hurtling object requires force

An interesting article on using violence to achieve environmental goals.
I'm particularly interested in this quote, which, like Zizek, argues that Empire is violent anyway.

"I would just add to that, if you live in one of the rich nations, you live behind a military barricade, and the only reason that you don't know that every single thing you buy is based on violence is because of that military barricade. So we can turn away in complete denial to the real cost of every single piece of food we eat and everything we buy — the cell phones, the ipods, the cars, whatever. There are a whole bunch of dead people and dead bioregions behind everything that we buy. And it is that military barricade that keeps us safe and keeps us in a complete land of dreams. But it is all based on violence. All we are saying is that we want to stop the violence. We don't want to make violence.

My friend Gail Dines has a lot of students that work at places like Old Navy and the Gap, and they regularly find, when they're unpacking the jeans and the T-shirts, little notes stuffed into the pockets that say "Please help us." This is from the factory workers in China or Taiwan or wherever."

Is it time to literally smash the idols that enslave us?

"I know that every prediction about global warming is that they underestimate it on the previous one, and I know that those in power are looking with what can only be described as lust at the melting of the Arctic ice caps. They are not looking with horror. They are not looking with shame. They are not looking with sorrow. They are not looking to change things. They are looking with lust at the access to resources. Anyone who thinks that they are going to stop before every living being on this planet has been killed is not paying any attention."

H/T Byron


Anonymous said...

I listened to an interesting reading of the "Omnivore's Dilemma" yesterday that (in connection with the transformation of feedlot cattle into burgers) made the point that so much of our consumption depends on an act of concealing. Interesting

byron smith said...

Dan - Yes, if you want to lift the lid a little on where our food comes from, try watching the doco Food, Inc.. It has a focus on the US, but many of the lessons are applicable elsewhere.

Mike - One of the three authors interviewed for that piece (Derrick Jensen) is quoted as saying: ""Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right."