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Beautiful Justice: An Open Letter to Liberals

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

Do you believe in a better world? Do you believe in one without the torture of poverty and slavery; without hierarchies based on dominance; without a dying planet? If you do believe in this world, what are you willing to do to help bring it about?

I know many who yearn for justice, but far fewer with any kind of plan for achieving it. There’s no lack of morality in this equation, just of strategy and, perhaps, courage.

Every movement for social change has understood that when a system of law is corrupt, we must turn instead to the laws of the universe: human rights, the living land, justice. These movements are always deemed radical—and that’s because they are. Hope and prayers do not alone work to change the world. We’re going to have to fight for it.

All your heroes of the past knew this. Those who won civil rights knew it. Those who won women’s suffrage knew it. Those who abolished slavery knew it. Those who freed India from colonial rule knew it.

Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly understood this. He said, “Freedom is never given to anybody, for the oppressor has you in domination because he plans to keep you there, and he never voluntarily gives it up. And that is where the strong resistance comes. We’ve got to keep on keeping on, in order to gain freedom. It is not done voluntarily, but it is done through the pressure that comes about from people who are oppressed. Privileged classes never give up their privileges without strong resistance.”

All movements striking at the roots of social problems were—and still are—radical by default.

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Time is Short: Stop the Flows, Stop the Machine

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

Industrial civilization is killing the planet. It is, by its very nature, entirely dependent upon tearing & rending apart the fabric of the living world for the raw materials which sustain industrial society. As civilization fells ever more forests, blows apart ever more mountains, dams ever more rivers, vacuums ever more fisheries, drains ever more wetlands, plows ever more prairies, and replaces ever more of the natural world with concrete and fields growing food for solely human use, the bloody hands of empire must reach ever further afield to grasp for new pockets of wilderness to seize.

As industrial society becomes more and more globalized, so too does industrial destruction. Wild places that may once have been too remote to access find the crushing weight of civilization brought to bear upon them.

While the reach and presence of this way of life accelerate around the planet, the privileges and material prosperities afforded by its war against life remain the property of a small minority at the center of empire. It is to this center that the overwhelming portions of planetary plunder flow. It’s coded into the way empires—and civilizations—operate. The center of power conquers outlying lands, colonizing them and forcefully extracting resources, which flow back to feed the bloated power base.

The pattern is the same, whether we’re talking about cities extracting food via agriculture from the surrounding lands or the global economy extracting oil, steel, wood, etc. from the Global South. It is the same dynamic of empire—of colonies and conquerors. We may rationalize the pattern through complex social and economic theory, but it doesn’t change the underlying relationship of exploiter and exploited.

Central to the smooth function of this way of life are the logistics and transportation necessary to physically transport those materials from the site of extraction to the center of empire. The global economy is incredibly complex, so much so that how exactly it operates in the physical world may seem inexplicable, and only comprehensible in the abstract. But despite this, there are very specific infrastructures—foundations of support—that are fundamental to its function. The infrastructure of globalized transportation and logistics is among these; without them, the precarious balance of industrial society would collapse.

In the incessant drive towards ever-greater efficiency—the drive to expand “economic production” (read the conversion of living landbases into private wealth) beyond any limitations—the industrial economy is becoming ever more dependent upon fast-paced transportation and logistics. It’s why most grocery stores only have a 72 hour supply of food in-store. By reducing inventory capacity and relying upon “Just-in-Time” transportation systems, industrialism has accelerated its pace, but at the expense of its stability.

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Beautiful Justice: Entitled Defeat

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

We’ll need a miracle to save the world, and the only miracle we’re going to get is us. Right now, we—as in life on this planet we—are losing. That nobody wants to say this out loud doesn’t change its truth: we are losing, and badly.

For all the tireless marching, writing, petitioning, film-making, and purification of our lifestyles, how much destruction has actually—in the real world, not just our hearts and minds—been stopped?

We are losing. No one wants to say this out loud. Every impassioned conversation, book, and documentary film seems to follow the same wishful script: things are bad—okay, things are really bad—and while that’s certainly not good, it doesn’t change the fact that we are actually winning, that our individual actions are making a difference, that hearts and minds are changing, that we’re on the cusp of a great turning, that sustainability is upon us. All this whether the greedy or ignorant like it or not.

With our hands up in the air, who will do the work to make sure this future turns to reality? It’s easy to be optimistic in the cradle of privilege. It’s easier to look out the window and see winds of change when that window isn’t found in a sweatshop or prison complex. Those who feel firsthand the destruction of life—of democracy, community, freedom, landbase, and bodily integrity—do not have this luxury; they cannot pretend justice is now, or will be, prevailing when every day is testament of the opposite.

Many on the Left would call this cynicism. They would say it reflects a negative attitude. They would say negative attitudes don’t get us anywhere. They fail to mention what will.

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50 Ways to Prepare for Revolution

50 Ways to Prepare for Revolution

The people of the United States are currently unprepared to seize a revolutionary moment. We must fix that.

How can we raise our levels of revolutionary consciousness, organization and struggle?

Raise consciousness

1) Raise consciousness with the purpose of building organization and raising the level of struggle.

2) Investigate before forming opinions. Research how the world and the system function.

3) Read foundational and historical works about revolution, by those who have participated in and led them.

4) Analyze the system’s current condition and trajectory.

5) Learn about the resistance, uprisings and revolutions going on in the world today.

6) Read the material that currently active groups are issuing and discussing.

7) Continuously develop, elaborate upon and refine principles, theories and strategies for our movement.

8) Raise our voices. Articulate revolutionary ideas, and give them a public presence.

9) Listen and speak in the spirit of mutual clarification.

10) Participate in discussion, to develop our ideas and hone our skills in expressing them, and to help others do so.

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Time is Short: Militant Mining Resistance

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

Mining is one of the most viscerally destructive and horrific ways in which the dominant culture—industrial civilization—enacts its violence on the living world. As entirely and unequivocally destructive as this society is, few other industrial activities are as horrifically confronting as mining. Whole landscapes are cleared of life as communities—most often indigenous or poor—are forced from their homes. Mountains level to piles of barren rubble which leach countless poisons, scouring life from whole watersheds. Pits of unimaginable size are carved from the bones of the earth, leaving moonscapes in their wake.

Besides the immediate damage to the land at the site of operations, the destruction extends through the uses its products are put to. In this way, mining is crucial to the continued function of industrial civilization, supplying many of the raw materials that form the material fabric of industrial society. Steel, aluminum, copper, coal, tar sands bitumen, cement; the materials extracted through mining are central components of industrial civilization in an immediate and physical way. They are the building blocks of this society.

Fortunately, as is the way of things, where there is atrocity and brutalization, there is resistance. There has been a lot of militant anti-mining action happening recently; in the last few months alone there have been several inspiring incidents of people taking direct militant action against mining projects and infrastructure.

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Time is Short: Nonviolence Can Work, But Not for Us

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

By Alex Rose / Deep Green Resistance Redwood Coast

By now we should all be familiar with what’s at stake. The horrific statistics—200 species driven extinct daily, every child born with hundreds of toxic chemicals already in their bodies, every living system on the planet in decline—haunt us as we go about our work in a world that refuses to hear, listen, or act on them. After decades of traditional organizing and activist work, we’re beginning to come to terms with the need for a dramatic shift in strategy and tactics, and indeed in how we conceptualize the task before us.

It is not enough any longer (if it ever was) to build a reformist social movement, one more faction among many attempting to fix the failings within our society. With industrial civilization literally tearing apart the biosphere and skinning the planet alive, we can afford no other goal than to build a resistance movement capable of—and determined to succeed in—bringing down industrial civilization, by any means necessary.

We know this will require decisive underground action to be successful, and starting all but from scratch, this begins with promoting the need for militant resistance; trying to garner acceptance and normalization of the fact that without militant resistance—including sabotage and direct attacks on key nodes of industrial infrastructure—there is little, if any, hope that earth will survive much longer.

However, the pervasive ideology of the dominant culture leaves most of its members unwilling to even consider dialogue on the topic of militant resistance, much less adopting it as a strategy. One manifestation of this is the all-too-widely held belief that nonviolent resistance is always more effective than violent resistance.

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BREAKDOWN: A Convalescent Collapse

By Joshua Headley / Deep Green Resistance New York

By Joshua Headley / Deep Green Resistance New York

Talking about collapse can prove to be quite alienating. Most people quickly denounce those of us who start these dialogues as “alarmists” in an attempt to nullify all arguments and keep us safe from all evil and depressing thoughts.

An obvious reason to dismiss talk of collapse is that there are far too many examples of groups who come along and yell about the end of the world only for their “insight” to turn out rather dubious. But I don’t choose to speak out about collapse for the sake of “the end of the world” or to preach my morals – I bring it up because there are real, tangible limits to a globalized industrial civilization and this intrinsically implies there will be a peak and subsequent fall. This is inevitable and we cannot escape it no matter how long we choose to not talk about it.

No one can say absolutely when collapse will occur but we can say with a degree of certainty, based on current levels of complexity, diminishing marginal returns, and the latest climate science, that we are much more likely to experience collapse in the near-term rather than in the far and distant future. This is not meant to scare anyone into submission, religious folly, or isolating despair – it is simply meant to allow us to start seriously discussing our situation, its implications, and how to move forward.

How can we manage to proceed through this process in any meaningful capacity if we keep ignoring and denying its possibility?

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