Archive | November, 2014

Derrick Jensen

Derrick Jensen | Claims to virtue

IT’S NOT POSSIBLE to commit deforestation, or any other mass atrocity—mass murder, genocide, mass rape, the pervasive abuse of women or children, institutionalized animal abuse, imprisonment, wage slavery, systematic impoverishment, ecocide—without first convincing yourself and others that what you’re doing is beneficial. You must have, as Dr. Robert Jay Lifton has put it, a “claim to virtue.” You must be convinced—as the Nazis were convinced that the elimination of Jews […]

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Movies You Might’ve Missed | On the need for disobedience

Two fairly recent films illustrate the need for citizens to act as their own authority in matters of morality and ethics. One, The Reader, achieved mainstream success. The other, Even the rain (Tambien la lluvia), illustrates that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Many have undoubtedly seen The Reader, a 2008 German-American film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. Starring Kate Winslet, whose […]

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Dana Visalli | Brian Willson and the problem of obedience

ONE OF THE MORE MYSTERIOUS and problematic elements of human nature is our tendency to be obedient; to look for external authorities to tell us what to do with our lives. The Latin root of the word is obediere, “to obey, to be submissive.” When soldiers are told to by some purported authority to march off to war, they almost invariably obey. When taxpayers are told to stuff money into […]

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Civil disobedience is an act of love | An interview with Tim DeChristopher

On December 19, 2008, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tim DeChristopher raised paddle #70 at a Bureau of Land Management auction, bidding against oil and gas companies in the leasing of Utah’s public lands—many of them situated adjacent to cherished Canyonlands National Park. Bidding started at $2 an acre and at first DeChristopher raised his paddle simply to keep the public’s heritage from going so cheaply. Then he started winning […]

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