Neoliberalism, representing the subjection of all life forms to the economic needs of a single supremacist species, incorporates a concentration of violence so extreme that resistance often appears futile. Yet, as we have long proposed, the Gandhian concept of “satyagraha” offers a viable path towards some other orientation for living on earth, an orientation based in connections and relations rather than dominance, extraction and commodification. Embracing the spirit of satyagraha, Extinction Rebellion (XR) represents the single best chance we presently have to avert irreparable and irreversible climate breakdown, with horrific implications for all species, including Homo Sapiens.
Below, excerpts from a recent essay by XR vision coordinator Skeena Finebaum-Rathor elaborating on the ethos of non-violence as both a tactic of disruption and as the direct embodiment of a deeply transformative love and respect for all life forms. When we “draw the line” against ongoing neoliberal plunder (such as opportunistically expanding resource extraction in those regions that are most vulnerable to climate collapse), it is not a line of “battle” but a line from the heart, in the spirit of compassionate self-sacrifice.
It seems logical that reversing the vast environmental damage caused by the Great Acceleration will require an equally as forceful Great Deceleration. Yet at exactly the time when humans need to do less via dramatic contraction, both economic and biological, we prefer to sustain the delusion that we can fix the broken world with yet another spasm of frantic human activity.
This week, we relay brief excerpts from a December 2018 article by Eileen Crist that provides a concise delineation of the human supremacist self-understanding we must overcome if we are to avert the worst consequences of the deepening ecological emergency.
Images are from recent mass civil disobedience protests against the perpetuation of lignite coal mining in Germany.
In full support of the extensive non-violent civil disobedience unfolding in London and throughout the world, we relay Extinction Rebellion’s Declaration of Rebellion, together with a few images from recent actions.
Time is running out; in fact, there is a large volume of data that suggests that time has already run out, and that we are now in the midst of an irreversible environmental unravelling. So-called elites must be pressured to rearrange their calendars, grasp the urgency of the climate breakdown, and declare an emergency. Even then, the challenges will be staggering and relentless.
Cheers to those thousands of extinction rebels for putting their bodies on the line, in the spirit of peace, and in ferocious love for the whole of life.
As at COP24, that shamefully inert gathering inside a former Polish coal mine towards the end of last year, the only person who made any sense whatsoever during the annual Davos Festival of the Exalted Egos: Greta Thunberg, as she broke the stupefying complacency with a concise call for urgent action towards the creation of a radically new political and economic paradigm.
The panel to which Thunberg had been invited had been scheduled to discuss “Responses to Climate Disruption”. She rejected that theme out of hand, and instead held a roomful of leather-loafered feet to the fire. Much media hubbub was generated by an economic historian who dared to suggest that the world’s ultrarich should pay their fair share of taxes; Greta’s words were treated as if someone had released a methane burp beneath the lavish buffet table.
Excerpts below, with images from a series of Scorched Earth paintings by Lynn Christine Kelly.
SCORCHED EARTH 13
SCORCHED EARTH 32
WE MUST CHANGE EVERYTHING
We took note of a quote from Hermann Hesse used by Lynn Kelly on her home page, relayed below:
There is the heart of the new paradigm,
in the heart of the trees, now scorched:
the ancient law of life.
During a week when the most mindless power struggles distract attention from fresh evidence of a climate breakdown endgame for which few are prepared, we turn to a lucid essay by Costica Bradatan, author of Dying For Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of Philosophers. The essay is worthy of close reading in its entirety; excerpts below, with images from the studio of Richard Kurtz, whose sublime visions are on display this weekend at the NYC Outsider Art Fair.
The next sentence in the cited text from Simone Weil strikes us as even more important:
“Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”
Among the oppressed, we would include the countless non-human species of life that disappear each day from the biosphere. Do we really think that we are exempt from the rhythm of erasure, incarnate within the Sixth Extinction?
Let us place ourselves
on the side of all life forms facing elimination
as a result of toxic human supremacism.
Only then will we be able to navigate
with deepest humility
into a viable future.
Amidst the disgraceful blather pumping through the sound system inside the former coal mine that served, perversely enough, as the assembly hall for COP 24, there have been a few sane voices. First, we relay the address of activist Greta Thunberg in its entirety; lucid, not a single word wasted, and cutting to the very heart of the matter.
Also present giving voice to a perspective equal to the challenges ahead: Extinction Rebellion activist Liam Geary Baulch. Images above and below derive from recent ER actions.
As for the discredited suits that jet around the world pretending to be the global “elite”, we strongly echo the words of Greta Thunberg, addressing their paralysis in the face of the Sixth Extinction:
Change is coming, whether you like it or not.
The real power belongs to the people.