“Do we need a militant movement to save the planet (and ourselves)?”
That was the question posed in recent article on the left-wing site Alternet when it interviewed a group of radical environmentalists who are allegedly endorsing “Decisive Ecological Warfare.” And in order to realize their goal of ridding the planet of industrial civilization — even modern agriculture — the group intends to employ tactics “of both militaries and insurgents the world over.”
One of the activists, Derrick Jensen, allegedly even believes those who destroy the environment should be summarily executed: “If it were up to me, all the people associated with the Gulf oil spill, which is murdering the Gulf, would be executed. That would be part of the function of a state,” said Jensen.
In addition to Jensen, the two other environmentalists interviewed in the article – Lierre Keith, and Aric McBay — have spearheaded a fringe movement called the “Deep Green Resistance” (with a book of the same name) that calls for “direct attacks on infrastructure” and an annihilation of civilization as we know it.
According to the far-left triumvirate, humanity must devolve into living primitive, “indigenous” lifestyles. To this end, Keith targeted a litany of ills that must be stopped, declaring: “We need a culture that is self-consciously oppositional to things like corporate power, capitalism, industrialization and ultimately civilization, because that is the arrangement of power on this planet right now.”
But how does the group intend to implement such extreme goals? That is where the Decisive Ecological Warfare part comes in. According to DGR’s website, their type of warfare has four phases that will allegedly lead up to the “fall of industrial civilization.” The first phase, according to the organization’s charter, is “Networking & Mobilization” followed by “Sabotage & Asymmetric Action.” The site lays out the group’s strategy:
Strategy A: Engage in direct militant actions against industrial infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure.
Strategy B: Aid and participate in ongoing social and ecological justice struggles; promote equality and undermine exploitation by those in power.
Strategy C: Defend the land and prevent the expansion of industrial logging, mining, construction, and so on, such that more intact land and species will remain when civilization does collapse.
Strategy D: Build and mobilize resistance organizations that will support the above activities, including decentralized training, recruitment, logistical support, and so on.
Strategy E: Rebuild a sustainable subsistence base for human societies (including perennial polycultures for food) and localized democratic communities that uphold human rights.
The stated goal of DGR is to “deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. This will require defending and rebuilding just and sustainable human communities nestled inside repaired and restored landbases. This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped.”
All infrastructure, even modern agriculture did not escape the threesome’s wrath as they apparently consider “sustainable agriculture” an “oxymoron.”
The original Alternet interview with DGR leaders went on to reveal what McBay believes should replace industrial civilization if the movement were successful in carrying out its goals: “If we are talking about a post-industrial society, then I think we have to draw on the examples of traditional, indigenous societies.”
What’s more, the group barely tries to conceal its disdain for the average Americans who probably find DGR’s brand of extremism distinctly repugnant. Keith stated, “I’m not speaking to mainstream America. I don’t know how to talk to those people, and there is no point in me trying.” And Jensen only mirrored the sentiment, saying, “I don’t understand why it is even controversial to talk about dismantling industrial civilization when it has shown itself for 6,000 years to be destroying the planet and to be systemically committing genocide.”
But don’t worry. As Alternet points out, Keith does make a distinction about violence in the book.
“I would urge the following distinctions,” writes Keith, “the violence of hierarchy vs. the violence of self-defense, violence against actual people vs. violence against property, and the violence as self-actualization vs. the violence of political resistance.”
“Just because they mention violence doesn’t mean it’s the best policy,” Alternet says in its article as a way of trying to salvage readers who might be non-violent.
But it is an option.