Ending Industrial Culture, Building Cultures of Resistance: An Interview With Lierre Keith and Aric McBay
Lierre Keith and Aric McBay are both authors, small farmers, activists in their own way, and over the last couple years have been organizing weekend-long conferences entitled Deep Green Resistance. If you'd like to read it, their statement of purpose from their first gathering sums up where they're coming from better than I can. In our interview, they speak of a systemic analysis of what we're facing, including the environmental and social costs of industrial culture, tying together the problems of climate change, peak oil, the power of the right-wing/fascist elements, economic collapse, and so on.
They talk about the inherent costs of the industrial system that render any kind of reform or energy alternatives to be simply more of the same, since these false solutions don't take into account the cost of the infrastructure or the embodied energy required to make 'green' consumer items, from smart cars to biofuel and low-energy light bulbs. From this critique of individualist and lifestyle-based solutions, they offer the option of collective, co-ordinated, resistance to the actual power structures. Most importantly, they ask the crucial questions that not too many are asking: given the crises we face, what, really, are we going to do about it? Thinking with seriousness, long-term strategy, and courage, what can we as caring people do to save this planet? What are some essential elements of a culture of resistance that offers any hope of a securing a peaceful and sustainable future?
They also talk of the tendency, in times of collapse, for people to cling to any leader who will grant them supposed security and a maintenance of the status quo that they have been used to. These leaders usually have fascist agendas that lead to horrible times for anyone on the margins of the dominant society, and this is one element that is often left out of the debate around climate change, if it does go so far as to touch on collapse. Worse yet, political and military leaders who's agendas more than fulfill the definition of fascism are already well-entrenched in North America.
"I think a culture of resistance really needs loyalty and material support, wrapped up in a conscious embrace of a more militant strategy that actually has a goal, which is saving the planet."
A couple notes in hindsight:
Download 50:16  Recorded October 1, 2008
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