This blog is about my own journey to sustainability—getting outside of the box and being more authentically human. It’s about not viewing 'wealth' as money, but as something much more holistic and broad. The ideas presented here come from my newest book, The Good Life: How to Create a Sustainable and Fulfilling Lifestyle.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drawing a Line in the Sand

Where do we draw the line in the sand? Where do we say, "enough is enough"? At what point do we stop simply signing petitions and, instead, start fighting back against a culture that is killing us all? Egypt has set an example. Wisconsin has, too.

In his 2006 book, Endgame, Derrick Jensen reminds us that if we are "propping up industrialized civilization", we are ipso facto promoting violence. He further reminds us that "Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to eviscerate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the planet) collapses."

Jensen's not a lone wolf. There are plenty of people saying this. And, it's not even a particularly recent theme. Herbert Marcuse, for example, sang the same song in the late 1960's in An Essay on Liberation when he argued that traditional conceptions of human freedom have been rendered obsolete by the development of advanced industrial society. Marcuse closes the essay by saying that "the construction of a free society would create new incentives for work." He clarifies that "in exploitive societies, the so-called work instinct is mainly the introjected necessity to perform productively in order to earn a living." The One Dimensional Man.

The wheels are coming off of the wagon. Trying to keep putting them back on is like sticking our fingers in a hole in the dike: an unsustainable, "little picture" attempt to "solve" the problem. It's time to draw a line in the sand. It's time to realize that there really isn't any "fixing" the corporate whore that we call "the government". As Marcuse wrote, "The Great Refusal takes a variety of forms."