Tag Archives: Human Supremacism

Revulsion Into Revolution

We are grateful to a longtime DP reader for steering us to a lucid interview with Eileen Crist, following the publication of her book Abundant Earth. A few excerpts below, interwoven with revolting images of clearcutting in four California counties, relayed from stopclearcuttingca.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She closes with a cautionary critique of reliance upon “hope”:

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In the category of revulsion in search of revolution, let us close with the below transcript from a recent press conference where the American style of environmentally catastrophic human supremacism was brazenly promoted to the rest of the planet.

MR. MULVANEY:

The focus of the event will be global growth and challenges to the global economy, specifically dealing with things like rejuvenating incentives for growth and prosperity; rolling back prosperity-killing regulations; ending trade barriers; and re-opening energy markets.  So, taking a lot of what we have been doing here domestically with such success and trying to encourage the rest of the world to get onboard as we sit here and our economy does so well.  You look all across the world right now, and the rest of the world is either at or near recession.  And we really do think that we have hit on a formula that works not only here but that would work overseas, where we take the G7 as the opportunity to try and convince other nations that they can have the same successes by following the same model.

 

Then during the Q & A, that mostly centered on how holding the G7 at a Trump-branded resort was not a naked conflict of interest:

 

MR. MULVANEY:  Okay.  Anybody else on G7?

Q    I got one more.  Is there any precedent in your studying of the G7 of a G7 Summit being held at a property owned by the President or a President?

And my second question is: As you’re looking at the content of what you want to do next year, it’s probably going to be hot in Florida in June.  Will climate change be one of the issues that you discuss?

MR. MULVANEY:  The first question is, no.  I don’t know if another President has ever done it.  I don’t know if another President has owned a property that was even considered for G7.  So, no, we haven’t — I don’t know the answer to that question.

Climate change will not be on the agenda.

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Message to Mr. Mulvaney and the Circle of Death for which he is a mouthpiece:

 

 

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Beyond Human Supremacism

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Essential Conversation

From the imperative of love springs the need to re-conceive and re-member that most essential conversation: the dialogue between humans and the rest of life.

Below, a few excerpts from a wide-ranging interview with Paul Kingsnorth, whose writing and philosophy revolves around the recuperation of stories and voices embedded within the natural world. Images represent different seasons in Natalie Jeremijenko’s MASS MOCA installation, Tree Logic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More from the voice of Paul Kingsnorth, this time in a more recent essay relayed from his own website:

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And finally, linked through the below image, a VPRO documentary about Kingsnorth and his County Galway homestead, highly recommended for consideration:

 

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The Imperative of Love

This week, we return to our familiar motif of “inverted utopia”, a world wherein we cannot imagine the implications of our clever technologies. Such is the case in many reactions to climate catastrophe: fear not, we will invent new tech and engineer ourselves into a Green New Deal

Yet fixes that leave deep structures in place will have the same result as wrapping infected wounds with bandages without treating the infection. Without a fundamental change in the relationship between Homo Sapiens and the whole of life, ever more clever tinkering will only serve to deepen the crisis while feeding the toxic delusion that we are in control as rulers supreme. 

With this in mind, we turn to a a few passages from recent reflections made by Barbara Cecil in counterpoint to Dahr Jamail. Images are from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana.

 

 

Her closing sentence, which should be inscribed in the heavens:

The work of these times is not about saving the world but in belonging to it more fully.

 


Lining Up For Oblivion

Longtime DP readers will be familiar with one of our central themes: of all the “isms” that plague us, Human Supremacism surely excretes the most virulent toxins.

The below image shows what has previously been described as a “human snake” — a clot of consumers lining up to complete their purchase of a coveted “conquest”.

 

QUEUE FOR THE ULTIMATE SELFIE

 

As Ralf Dujmovits put it, way back in 2012:

People nowadays treat the mountain as if it was a piece of sporting apparatus, not a force of nature. It really makes my soul ache.

Everest has been pushed to its limits, and a complete change of mind needs to take place otherwise we’ll see many more tragedies taking place. We need to debunk the myth of Everest.

It’s spoiled for me now. And it’s too dangerous. There are simply too many people on there who should not be there.

Alas, during the subsequent seven years, nothing has changed:  the shoppers huff their oxygen, and wait their turn to attain the pinnacle of their deluded monomania.

As an “adventure consultant” pitches the “experience” online:

 

 


Tapered To A Claw

At this time of year, our thoughts drift to the North Atlantic in the year 1912. Steaming at top speed towards the American dream machine, RMS Titanic represents coal-fired energy; class hierarchy; technophilia; and unabashed hubris. Somewhere out there in the dark, floats a frozen antagonist, representing Deep Time and all those forces that elude human grasp.

Most art and poetry that reflects on her doomed voyage focuses on the behavior and disposition of passengers and crew; we prefer to contemplate the iceberg. Below, an excerpt from a longer poem by E.J. Pratt. Born in Newfoundland and a keen student of the Northern waters, Pratt knew a thing or two about large chunks of ice.

 

 

THE CLAW WAITS FOR MIDNIGHT

 

 

Needless to say, we learned nothing from that disaster, nor from any of the countless disasters that followed. As inverted utopians, we remain unable to imagine the implications of our clever tech.

Full speed ahead.

 


Small Talk of Swallows

During times when the lethal addiction of human supremacism becomes ever more acute, we turn to the regrettably departed (2018) philosopher Mary Midgley with her response to the question, “What does it mean to be human?” Her title: On Not Needing To Be Omnipotent.

Images are from the studio of Olive Ayhens, with prophetic visions of New York City that date from the 1990s.

 

 

THE STREAMS RETURN (1997)

 

 

EDGE CITY (1997)

 

 

AESTHETICS OF POLLUTION (1996)

 

In closing, a poem by Ursula Le Guin within which we found this week’s title phrase:

 

 

With or without us, there will be the silence…

 

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An Exuberant Multiplicity

A rate of extinction estimated at “up to 100 times higher than the background rate” should provide adequate motivation to reconsider the deep ruts of human supremacism.

A DP correspondent steered us to an excellent online resource curated by the Center For Humans and Nature, including essays from a wide range of writers and thinkers invited in response to a series of key questions such as “What does it mean to be human?”

David Abram begins his response with a quote from Robinson Jeffers: “I have fallen in love outward.” Further excerpts below, with images from an Art & Extinction series by the Irish artist Diarmuid Delargy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a Postscript, Abram adds:

 

 

What ails us can also obliterate us; extinction events slowly but surely work themselves up the food chain to the alpha predators. In this progression, our connection to and dependence on the whole of life will become painfully evident.

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The Jeffers poem also spins these lines forth from the mind of Cassandra, o force of the earth rising:

Plant the earth with javelins? It made laws for all men, it dissolved like a cloud.
I have also stood watching a storm of wild swans
Rise from one river-mouth . . . O force of the earth rising,
O fallings of the earth: forever no rest, not forever
From the wave and the trough, from the stream and the slack,
from growth and decay: O vulture-
Pinioned, my spirit, one flight yet, last, longest, unguided,
Try into the gulf,
Over Greece, over Rome, you have space O my spirit for the years 

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Nothing Goes One Way

Slightly over a year ago, Ursula Le Guin returned her vibrational richness to the universe. Below, a transcript of remarks delivered as the keynote for a 2014 conference, with a video link as well. Her words and her voice, raised on behalf of the whole of life, resonate more strongly and urgently with each passing day.

 

 

 

 

Our brutal reign as Lords of Creation is swiftly coming to an end; let us seek fresh connections to the whole of life.

 


On Behalf of the Crushed

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.

 

 

INVULNERABLE (DETAIL)

 

 

INVULNERABLE

 

 

INVULNERABLE (DETAIL)

 

 

INVULNERABLE (DETAIL)

 

 

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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.