Monday, October 23, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Derrick Jensen


American author and environmental activist who lives in Northern California.
Derrick Jensen
Perception creates behavior. Perception encourages behavior. And because this institution--this artifice--continues to socially reinforce patterns of perception and behavior, if this behavior is destructive, it may not be a bad idea to eliminate or curtail the institution.
Jensen quotes
Love does not imply pacifism.
Jensen
In order for a slave--or, for that matter, a slaveholder--to become free, a series of successive perceptions must be realized. First, the person must perceive that the owners (and slaves) are merely human, that is, putting all rhetoric aside, that there exists a dichotomy of privilege and exploitation, and that the privilege is a result of exploitation. ... The second realization is, once again, that the owners and slaves are merely human, meaning this time that the exploitation and consequent privilege are not inevitable, but the result of social arrangements and force (as well as a huge dollop of bad luck on the part of those enslaved). ... The third realization is yet again that the owners are merely human, by which I now mean they are vulnerable. Wealth does not protect them.




Jensen Derrick quotes
I remember staring at the computer screen--light green letters on dark--then at the clock, and finally at my outstretched fingers held a foot in front of my face. And then it dawned on me: selling the hours of my life was no different from selling my fingers one by one. We've only so many hours, so many fingers; when they're gone, they're gone for good.
Jensen Derrick
From the perspective of those who are entitled, the problems begin when those they despise do not go along with--and have the power and wherewithal to not go along with--the perceived entitlement.
Derrick Jensen quotes
When my books first hit the market, my first thought was: "Good. Now these gullible youth will see the true light, the primeval way - and the world will cower in awe of my intellectual abilities." My second thought was: "Oh, crap...if this book rockets to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, untold trees will be mercilessly slaughtered for printing purposes." As it turns out, I had little to worry about. Nobody bought my books. Apparantely the world just isn't ready for my genius & guile, my brilliant banter.
Derrick Jensen
If any thing can be predicated as universally true of uncultivated man, it is that he will not labour beyond what is absolutely necessary to maintain his existence.
Jensen Derrick quotes
To believe Christianity stands in opposition to slavery is at best to think anachronistically and at worst to not understand Christianity.
Jensen
I've never written this before in public, but my first thought on September 11 when I heard someone was attacking the World Trade Center is, 'Ah, so now it begins. Someone is finally fighting back. Given the terror that the United States routinely inflicts on people (including nonhumans, of course) the world over (and of course now a couple of years later the United States calls these programs of systematic terror 'Shock and Awe'), I'm surprised it didn't happen long ago. The poor have been very patient and long suffering, more patient and long suffering than anyone could ever expect.' That is what I thought.
Jensen Derrick
How, precisely, do you define a police state? Is it the number of police per capita? How about the number of prisons? Police use of machine guns or armored personnel carriers? The use of the police or the military to put down strikes, or to otherwise "keep the trains running on time," as was Mussolini's specialty? Perhaps it's the use of the police or the military to halt civil unrest. Or maybe the widespread use of curfews. Arbitrary confiscation of private property. How about this: could a police state be defined, as in Nazi Germany, by the use of force to segregate members of a specific race into concentration camps or prisons?
Derrick Jensen
We are members of the most destructive culture ever to exist. Our assault on the natural world, on indigenous and other cultures, on women, on children, on all of us through the possibility of nuclear suicide and other means--all these are unprecedented in their magnitude and ferocity.




Derrick Jensen quotes
If we wish to stop the atrocities, we will need to understand and change the social and economic conditions that cause them.
Derrick Jensen
Several times I have commented that hatred felt long and deeply enough no longer feels like hatred, but more like tradition, economics, religion, what have you. It is when those traditions are challenged, when the entitlement is threatened, when the masks of religion, economics, and so on are pulled away that hate transforms from its more seemingly sophisticated, "normal," chronic state--where those exploited are looked down upon, or despised--to a more acute and obvious manifestation. Hate becomes more perceptible when it is no longer normalized. Another way to say all of this is that if the rhetoric of superiority works to maintain the entitlement, hatred and direct physical force remain underground. But when that rhetoric begins to fail, force and hatred waits in the wings, ready to explode.
Jensen quotes
I quit work two weeks later--having sold another eighty of my hours--and knew I could never again work a regular job.
Jensen Derrick
Slavery was a central concern of governance form the time of the first nation-state. The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest know set of laws for governing an empire, prescribed death for anyone who harbored a fugitive or otherwise helped a slave to escape. The relationship between the law and bondage goes back even farther: Indeed, the oldest extant legal documents don't concern the sale of land, houses, or even animals, but slaves.
Jensen Derrick quotes
I sat at the computer at work, debugging. I was bored. It was afternoon. I was twenty-two. It was June. Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, thunderheads move in almost every afternoon between May and early July. They materialize, darken the day, spit a few drops, open the sky with lightning, then disappear like so many dreams.
Derrick Jensen
I could not have learned to listen to coyotes without having first learned to listen to my unwillingness to sell my hours, then to listen to the signals of my body, then to listen to the disease that has made my insides my home, and thus become a part of me. And I could not have learned to listen to coyotes without having talked to other people courageous enough to validate my perception of an animate world. I talked to the writer Christoper Manes, who said, 'For most cultures through history--including our own in preliterate times--the entire world used to speak. Anthropologists call this animism, the most pervasive worldview in human history. Animistic cultures listen to the natural world. For them, birds have something to say. So do worms, wolves, and waterfalls.' Later the philosopher Thomas Berry told me, 'The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees--all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related.'
Derrick Jensen quotes
I thought that, given the system of rewards central to our economic system, in which profit maximization is valued above all else and specifically above life, it is probably just as irresistible to the owners of capital (human or otherwise) to exploit workers (and the land): "Nothing personal," they say as they load their property onto the ship bound for the Middle Passage, "but a man's gotta turn a dime."
Derrick Jensen
From the beginning, this culture - civilization - has been a culture of occupation.
Jensen Derrick
Much was made by abolitionists that the King James version of the Bible didn't use the word slaves, but, instead, servants. This meant, in their minds, that God didn't really approve of slavery. But that argument was linguistic at best. Slavery was codified and even sanctified in the tenth commandment, throwing slaves (and wives) in with other property belonging to one's neighbor that one must not covet. The Bible even regulated--as opposed to banning outright--the killing of slaves, stating that if a slave were beaten to death, the slave owner should be punished (though not killed himself, as would be his fate were he to kill a freeman), but if the slave didn't die until a day or two after the beating, the slave owner "shall not be punished, for he [the slave] is his money."


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