The Madison Institute
last week on the program, we aired a talk by Derek Jensen which I hope you had a chance to hear. If not, I recommend downling show #311 from our archive at unwelcomeguests.org -In his talk Derek posed a series of questions to us as what our threshold of toleration is for ourtages against ourselves and our ecosystem - he posed this as a series of hypothetical acts by an alien invader - poisong the land, air and water, putting dioxin in every mother' breastmilk, extinguishing 90 percent of the large fish in the ocean, to name a few. These listed asaults on the living world, however, are not hypothetical. They are examples of the actual damage done by industrial civilization, what is called
"our way of life." He raised the question, how bad does it have to get before people are willing to do something about it?
At a time when sweeping change is needed environmentalists are boxed in by a legal , political and economic power structure that is fighting to preserve present privilege at the cost of losing the future. Jensen compared the acquiescense to this power structure with the nazi final solution.
He also referred to Robert J Lifton's research on the nazi concentration camp doctors, Lifton,a psychiatrist wanted to understand how it was that so many doctors, respected members of society who were sworn to heal and not harm, justified their participation in death camps. He interviewed many of them after the war and they told him, that they attempted to help make life more bearable for the the prisoners in whatever way they could . Jensen noted what the nazi doctors did not do, which was the only thing that would actually help the victims, which was challenge and destroy the nazi system that was creating the atroticity in the first place.
Both Jensen abd the previous weeks speaker Seneca elder and professor John Mohawk targeted the beliefs that that underlie western society, as one's that that encourage, or at least permit widespread environmental destruction- Jensen called this not inhabiting the place we live It seems to me that the failure of the majority to confront and prevent the preventable, whether genocide or ecocide resides in the mind rather than in any obstacle of the physical world. What ideas and ideologies are shaping this society's action's in the world?