derrick jensen

derrick jensen.png

first intro’d to Derrick via this hugely resonating quote:

eudaimonia by jensen

adding page (years later) same time adding page on fittingness (same day as quinn – well ness)

jensen fittingness law and jensen one question law

also –jensen civilization law and  jensen import law


taking him in years later.. here first – from nov 2010 – Author Derrick Jensen: “It’s Very Important For Us To Start to Build a Culture of Resistance” 1 of 2 on democracy now:

part 1 – []

1 min – very important to build a culture of resistance because what we’re doing isn’t working

2 min – i ask myself .. why do we lose so often.. i think.. because a lot of us don’t really know what we want..

3 min – extraordinary book – the nazi doctors by robert j lifton – how many men who took hypocratic oath could work in death camps.. he found many dr’s really cared.. they would do what they could to help for that day.. except for the most important thing of all.. they wouldn’t question the existence of the entire death camp itself.. so they would find themselves working w/in the rules.. however they could to try to improve conditions marginally.. in retrospect.. that’s not sufficient

4 min – as a long time activist i see myself and other activists doing the same thing.. i see that what we do.. everything that is allowed by those in power to attempt to stop the destruction.. but the problem is whenever we figure out a way to use their rules to stop them.. they change the rules

not to mention.. that doesn’t go deep enough in the first place.. resonating w school in particular

7 min – we need to ask ourselves what we want.. and how are we going to get there (they call me violence guy.. but i think i’m the everything guy)

8 min – (on father’s violence)

holy cow

part 2 – []

2 min – on abuse forming (global) insight

3 min – on indigenous influence – they offer us an alt.. one of the things abusers want us to do is believe there is only one way to be which is theirs..

4 min – one of the things we need to remember is that there have been other ways of living that have been sustainable.. ie: the tolowa living there for 12 500 yrs.. and they didn’t do it because they were too stupid to invent (back hoes?).. why .. how did they look at the world differently that allowed them to live.. it wasn’t because they were primitive/savages..

human history

5 min – what did they have.. they had social structures in place

perhaps now we need one with a detox embed.. to get us back.. ie: 2 convers as infra

(on civilization never being sustainable) – his friend: ‘only level of tech that is sustainable is the stone age’ ..defn of sustainability .. leaving world in better place because you were born..

jensen civilization law

6 min – defn of civilization is a way of life characterized by the growth of cities.. defn of city is people living in numbers large enough to require the importation of resources

7 min – the tolowa didn’t live in cities.. they lived in villages and ate what the land gave willingly

2 things if require importation of resources  1\ way of living can never be sustainable..  2\ way of life must be based on violence.. because trade will never be sufficiently reliable..

jensen import law

8 min – destroying land base gives you a competitive advantage over cultures that don’t.. so.. if don’t care about future.. can turn this into immediate power.. and have to do that.. because destroyed own home base..


from walking on water amazon description:

He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers.

prospector/library request – wonder why i’ve not yet done this before?

jensen one question law


Derrick Jensen interview at the Earth at Risk 2014 Conference – []

the crisis is that this culture is (has been for 6000 yrs) destroying the planet.. to have a culture that is based on infinite growth.. which is what capitalism is .. or before that.. just empire.. is not going to end well on a finite planet

3 min – so one part of the crisis is physical.. another part is psychological and social.. which is.. i don’t understand how that doesn’t frighten most people.. and how they don’t see that pattern.. ie: no matter how much i write about it.. i don’t understand how anybody could be stupid enough to poison your own drinking water (on water vs fracking debates)

(asked what he thinks response should be)

4 min – the fundamental role of govt is to facil commerce.. i get in trouble w anarchists when i say.. we should have laws against ie: rape.. but that said.. the primary function of govt is commerce.. so no.. they’re not going to be on our side.. they’re going to be in the side of commerce

5 min – it’s always struck me .. ie: ‘we need to balance economy against environ.. that’s acknowledgement on their part that the econ is in opposition to the environ.. and who would have a crazy system where you are actually having an econ that destroys the basis of life.. that’s just completely nuts.. psychopathic..

6 min – i’m not saying we shouldn’t use the govt whenever we can

7 min – somewhere along the way environmentalists have stopped being about protecting the earth and have become about ‘sustainability’.. which is about continuing this culture that’s killing the planet.. that’s not where our loyalty needs to be.. what i want (from this conference) is for us to be able to shift our allegiance away from the econ system .. what lewis mumford called the machine..  and toward the land and the other victims of this culture.. making your allegiance absolute with the victims of this culture

Lewis Mumford’s myth of the machine

8 min – when you switch your allegiance you have to switch your id too.. so many indigenous people have said to me.. the first/most important thing we have to do is to de colonize our hearts/minds.. make it so your id is not with the system.. ie: quit saying when are we going to stop.. and start saying capitalists going to stop..  not in a cop out way

10 min – (on people doing what they get off on).. i get off on trying to figure out the relationships between perceived entitlement exploitation and atrocity.. i’ve condemned myself to a life of homework ..

ah.. combo of maté trauma law and not knowing/finding/being your fittingness

continuum from entitlement to atrocity are coping mechs when the holes are there

12 min – we need all hands on deck (goes into military reference) – then on getting pegged on violence guy

ugh to military ie – but totally w all hand on deck

13 min – the big distinction is not between those who do/don’t-do military resistance.. the big distinction is between those who do something/nothing

5-600 people here at conference.. but more at a game.. more who care about detroit tigers than real tigers.. and that’s part of the problem

rather.. it’s that they don’t have their fittingness.. and so a ballgame is an easy coping mech.. plus you’re pseudo ‘with others’

14 min – if you don’t like what other people are doing.. do a better job.. it’s really simple

15 min – (message to youth) – never believe anything you read and rarely believe anything you think.. think for yourself..  school is effective as turning us into workers and break us of critical thinking..

16 min – i thought when i was in hs.. why does school take so long.. then i thought the purpose was to break you of daydreaming.. and then i thought . . it takes so long because children don’t give up their wills easily.. it takes a long time to break the wills of children to prepare them for gainful employment.. so school successful on that front

17 min – i don’t have problem with education – present at birth of – teachers have a sacred task

that’s like 3 min in (about the nazi dr’s) on democracy now interview:

he found many dr’s really cared.. they would do what they could to help for that day.. except for the most important thing of all.. they wouldn’t question the existence of the entire death camp itself.. so they would find themselves working w/in the rules.. however they could to try to improve conditions marginally.. in retrospect.. that’s not sufficient

not sufficient for teacher’s to realize they have a sacred task.. the ed system is the death camp

19 min – to parents and teachers.. get your kids outside.. have to be in the place (nature) to love it

holmgren indigenous law.. in the city.. as the day..

20 min – wrote a book about zoos – zoos teach us that ie: a wolverine in a cage is still a wolverine.. teaching us that a wolverine is separate from its habitat.. which is terrible.. and so too about humans.. that humans are still humans

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work.. getting us to whales in sea world

the other thing (zoos) teach us is that you can mistreat the world and still see a bear

21 min – another thing i would say to children: i am so sorry.. we’re destroying the planet and passing it on to you .. and that is entirely unacceptable..

i don’t want to tell the children anything.. it’s not their responsibility.. children – your job as a child is to play.. your job as a child is not to save the planet..

it’s a great question.. and my anger is not at you for asking it.. my anger is at the reality of the situation.. we shouldn’t have to be saying anything to children except.. go play.. and.. you want to watch.. i embroidered.. this.. et al.. imagine and dream.. that’s your role.. lot in life..

22 min – it is our job/role to fix things.. we shouldn’t push off any responsibility

23 min – victims of abuse are really good at creating moving boundaries.. w/my history.. i have to have a one strike your out policy.. otherwise i can rationalize mean ness et al

25 min – at what point do you recognize that it’s not an anomaly.. 98% of forests/wetlands are gone.. et al.. at what point are you going to recognize this as a problem

what i’d like to say (and have) to bill mkibben.. give a number where you would say the whole system ahas to go.. i don’t care what the number is.. at some point we have to see the pattern


26 min – i used to start my talk.. i would hold up a bottle of water and say.. this is how i know we will not have a revolution.. because if people will pay for water bottled in plastic.. they will suffer any indignity..

27 min – ie: used to be a debate about gmo’s .. now debate is about what labels to put on them.. changing baselines

29 min – what is your threshold for resistance.. for it’s so easy to sneak up on you till there’s nothing left.. so easy to let things get a little worse and a little worse

32 min – i think the problem is that most people don’t love the earth.. i don’t even know if they love themselves.. if we loved ourselves .. would we allow body to be poisoned.. love is a verb

33 min – love is the core.. the problem is that we love the wrong things in this culture.. but again.. love is a verb.. ie: train hit grizzly bear’s cub.. and she wouldn’t stop charging trains.. that’s what love means.. for me.. loving a forest means saying.. not one more twig.. gets back to question of what’s your threshold

36 min – quoting someone: we are destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love.. we have to deconstruct culture’s notion of love.. it’s been pornographied.. turned into a possession.. it’s become central to patriarchy


find/follow Derrick:

his site:

wikipedia small

Derrick Jensen (born December 19, 1960) is an American author, anarchoprimitivist, ecophilosopher and radical environmentalist (and prominent critic of mainstream environmentalism) living in Crescent City, California. According to Democracy Now!, Jensen “has been called the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement.”

Jensen has published several books, including The Culture of Make Believe and Endgame, that question and critique civilization as an entire social system, exploring what he describes as its inherent values, hidden premises, and modern links to supremacism, oppression, and genocide, as well as corporate, domestic, and worldwide ecological abuse. He has also taught creative writing at Pelican Bay State Prison and Eastern Washington University


Derrick Jensen is primarily an advocate for indigenous peoples and wild nature, and an opponent of civilization, rejecting the notion that it can ever be an ethical or sustainable model for human society. He describes the linguistically and historically defensible definition of civilization as “a culture — that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts — that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis, meaning citizen, from Latin civitatis, meaning state or city),” and the definition of city as a group of “people living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life.” He explains that, by such definitions, civilizations and cities are both unsustainable:

civilization ness

Two things happen as soon as you require the importation of resources. One of them is that your way of living can never be sustainable, because, if you require the importation of resources, it means you’ve denuded the landscape of that particular resource, and, as your city grows, you’ll denude an ever-larger area. … And the other thing it means is that your way of life must be based on violence, because if you require the importation of resources, trade will never be sufficiently reliable because, if you require the importation of resources and the people in the next watershed over aren’t going to trade you for it, you’re going to take it.

— Derrick Jensen, Book lecture for Endgame

An outspoken critic of human supremacy, Jensen advocates non-anthropocentrism, or ecocentrism, according to which humans should first of all actively support the flourishing of entire natural communities and their many individual species, rather than the flourishing of humans alone; and second, that they should extend the status of personhood to all organisms and ecosystems, including non-human animals and plants. For example, in an article on water management, he refers to “both human people and fish people”. His view, which moves central moral focus away from civilized humans, also names and castigates some of the values most championed by modern civilization, including technological advancement, economic growth, the inevitability of progress, and sustainability as seen through the lens of “development”. Jensen advocates a way of life that is harmonious in a truly ecological sense, and is thus lastingly sustainable, such as the diverse ways of life historically exhibited by many Native American and other indigenous, non-civilized cultures. He also claims that “the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded Westerners generally perceive listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is.” While indigenous peoples understand the world as consisting of other beings with whom we can enter into relationship, he argues that Westerners believe the world consists merely of objects or resources to be exploited or used.

Jensen argues that dysfunctional and antisocial behaviors pervade civilization. His analysis views macrocosmic abuses through the microcosmic lens of domestic abuse and violence, noting the connection between abusive personal relationships and the oppressive, expansionist culture as a whole. The psychopathology of modern civilization’s global, industrial economy obliterates healthy personal relationships as well as the natural environment, and indigenous ways of life. Accordingly, he exhorts readers and audiences to help bring an end to industrial civilization, promoting its dismantling by any means necessary, thus challenging pacifism, since he believes that violence may be justified at times, particularly as a form of self-defense or resistance against oppression. In A Language Older Than Words and also in an article entitled “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”, Jensen states “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”. Inspired by the potential for success of the crushed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (when compared to the inevitable annihilation of Warsaw’s non-rebelling Jews) and his being attacked by various mother animals in perceived defense of their babies, Jensen supports the violence used by oppressed people and wild creatures in their own defense as a viable strategy against even their most powerful enemies. Jensen has clarified, however, that “I get accused of being the ‘violence guy’…but I don’t ever think that’s really fair, because I really consider myself the ‘everything guy’, that I want to put everything on the table and talk about all forms of resistance … We can certainly parse out cases where we think it’s appropriate to have militant response or non-militant response.”

Jensen also considers himself an anti-capitalist, a critic of organized religion (including Buddhism), a critic of science, an anti-racist, and a radical feminist, and seems to agree with those critics who have called him an “anti-civilizationist”. He has also been called anarcho-primitivistic, a label which he once accepted, although more recently he has distanced himself from both the terms “anarchist” and “primitivist,” especially criticizing modern anarchism’s herd mentality and describing “primitive” as a “racist way to describe indigenous peoples.” He prefers to be called “indigenist” or an “ally to the indigenous,” because “indigenous peoples have had the only sustainable human social organizations, and… we need to recognize that we [colonizers] are all living on stolen land.”

on deep green resistance site: