End: CIV. Resist or Die

END:CIV.  Resist or Die


By Franklin Lopez, submedia.tv
Remixed by Jore, thoughtmaybe


By examining the modern culture of industrial civilisation and the persistent widespread violence and environmental exploitation it requires, END:CIV details the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations, while further delving into the history of resistance and the prospect of fighting back against such abuse. Detailed is an overview of the environmental movement analogous with the historical whitewashings of the ‘pacifist’ social struggles in India with Gandhi and Martin Luther King in the United States; the rise of greenwashing and the fallacy that all can be repaired by personal consumer choices. Based in part on ‘Endgame’, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV asks: If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the trees, poisoned the water, the air, contaminated the food supply and occupied the land by force, would you fight back?

Featuring interviews with Paul Watson, Waziyatawin, Peter Gelderloos, Lierre Keith, Stephanie McMillan, Qwatsinas, Rod Coronado, John Zerzan and others …



The culture of industrialized civilization is a culture of occupation. Occupation by the corporations and systems that support them.  We must also recognize our willingness to consume comes at a price that threatens all life on earth.

The solution is not passively signing petitions or protesting in peaceful marches. The perpetrators will not listen to reason or ethics. The cycle of destroying life to feed greed requires force to be broken. The answer is organized, widespread political resistance. The question is, how much are we willing to tolerate before we fight back?  No place on earth is so remote that it hasn't already been adversely affected.  The tipping point is now.

Watch the 75 minute documentary here:  http://thoughtmaybe.com/video/endciv

Noa's picture

My biggest frustration right now is the apathy I see in the people around me.  For instance, the streets are littered with trash.  If people don't care enough not to sully their own neighborhood - let alone pick up the trash - then what hope is there that people will fight against the establishment for clean air, water, and food?

Most people are comfortable with the status quo.  As long as they can afford a few bobbles - TVs, ipods, cellphones, etc. - they are content to support the systems that are destroying our planet.

Changing that mindset seems like an impossible task.

Noa's picture

So I emailed Derrick Jensen and I asked him what he was doing to walk his own talk.  His answer came just hours later.  He directed me to this website http://www.deepgreenresistance.org (named after his book).  The organization concedes that 98% of the population will continue to support the status quo's unsustainable path but that historically, it is that 2% that succeeds in bringing about significant social change.  Their ideals are ambitious, but is there any other real plan for stopping the earth's demise?


“The goal of DGR is to deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. This will require defending and rebuilding just and sustainable human communities nestled inside repaired and restored landbases. This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped.

DGR’s strategy involves two separate parts of the movement – an aboveground and an underground. The aboveground works for sustainable, just, and participatory institutions, and assists the aboveground frontline activists with loyalty and material support. And In any resistance scenario, the underground dismantles the strategic infrastructure of power. This is a basic tactic of both militaries and insurgents the world over for the simple reason that it works. But such actions alone are never a sufficient strategy for achieving a just outcome. This means that any strategy aiming for a just future must include a call to build direct democracies based on human rights and sustainable material cultures. Which means that the different branches of resistance movements must work in tandem: the aboveground and belowground, the militants and the nonviolent, the aboveground frontline activists and the cultural workers. We need it all.” -http://www.deepgreenresistance.org

ChrisBowers's picture

I met DJ years ago here in Spokane, WA.  Soft spoken and focused, very interesting guy.

Noa's picture
Noa's picture

This is an example of how the system can be changed.


Can’t Buy Me Change

Derrick Jensen is the author of A Language Older than Words and Deep Green Resistance, among other books. He was named one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”

The fact that the question – can we promote ecological sustainability through buying better things? – is taken seriously points to the absurdity of so much environmental discourse. We need to be clear: An industrial economy, no matter how green it declares itself, is inherently unsustainable. It is based on the use of nonrenewable resources and the hyperexploitation of renewable resources. In short, it’s based on drawdown. It’s a bit late in the murder of the planet to have to be saying this to environmentalists.

There has never been a sustainable civilization, and industrial civilization has been especially disastrous. Industrial civilization is also inherently unjust, as it is based on the importation of resources – a less kind word is theft – from colonies to the center of empire. In order for these resources to be stolen, Indigenous People must be driven from the land and forced into the global cash economy. The fact that people of good heart can ignore this reveals the degree to which they have internalized the logic of capitalism.

Let me put this another way. Would “buying better things” have stopped the Nazis? Would it have stopped apartheid? Would it have stopped slavery in the US? Of course not. In the latter two cases it was tried and it failed. Why? Because it completely ignored the role of power in causing injustice.

Before you blanch at my comparison of capitalism to the Nazis, look at this from the perspective of the 200 species driven extinct today, the 200 species driven extinct tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, in a holocaust of unimaginable proportions. Look at this from the perspective of the millions of children killed each year as a result of so-called debt repayment from the colonies to the center of empire. Look at this from the perspective of Indigenous humans forced off their lands. “Buying good stuff” does absolutely nothing to address these problems.

The concept of “buying good things” is a false story that personal choices can lead to social change. That isn’t how social change works. I keep thinking of the line by Dom Helder Camara: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why are they poor, they call me a Communist.” Buying from the poor is nice, but it does nothing to address their impoverishment.

The fundamental precept of markets is that sellers try to maximize and buyers try to minimize prices. It’s all well and good to talk about Green EcoMarts for fair trade, recycled, and salvaged goods. But there are reasons Walmart and Home Depot are able to drive local stores out of business. Economies of scale guarantee that Walmart will be able to undercut small businesses. The local computer store owner in my town had to find work as a prison guard because Walmart can sell computers cheaper than he can buy them wholesale. The only way I can support the local store is if I have the extra money to burn. The same is true for fair trade tea, coffee, t-shirts, what have you. Capitalism guarantees that fair trade will remain a luxury niche that can never affect large-scale social change.

The global economy is essentially a command economy, one based on force. Let’s pretend that some community is able to establish a green economy that is 100 percent sustainable. Let’s presume further that the people in this community are content with their lifestyle, and don’t want it to change. Let’s give them a name. Let’s call them “Tolowa” or “Yurok” or “Dakota.” Or let’s say they are the Kayopo, living on the Xingu River. And now let’s say that those in power decide they want the landbase on which (or rather with whom) this community lives. What happens next? Does anyone really believe that those in power won’t destroy the community and steal the resources? This genocide isn’t a thing of the past: The Kayopo are being driven from their land right now, to make way for the Belo Monte dam.

Kevin Danaher asks, “If two of us go into a low-income part of the world, and you have the best critique of capitalism ever uttered, and I am offering green jobs at decent pay, who will get more allies?” This question is problematic for a number of reasons. First, it accepts industrial global capitalism and the wage economy as givens. Second, and more disturbing, it ignores the fact that sustainability is not determined by who has the most friends. Sustainability is determined by what is physically possible. Something is sustainable if it helps the planet become more viable. Whether someone is your friend is irrelevant.

small excerpt of a poll pageReader OpinionWhat do you think? Can buying organic, fair trade, re-used, and other “green”
products help protect the planet? Vote and be counted.

Why don’t we ask instead: “If we go into a low-income part of the world, and I have the best critique of capitalism ever uttered, and I provide tangible solidarity with people’s organized efforts to take back their land, and you are offering green jobs at decent pay, who will get more friends?” The answer will be: Those who are providing tangible solidarity. This is not theoretical. Adivasis – Indigenous Peoples in India – are joining the Maoist Naxalite insurgency in droves, not because the Adivasis are Maoist, but because the Maoists are resisting.

Danaher also states, “People need jobs and income, not radical rhetoric from us privileged intellectuals.” Well, actually, no – they don’t need jobs and income. What they need is food, clothing, and shelter. What they need is access to land. With access to land, they need neither jobs nor income. This is not radical rhetoric from privileged intellectuals. This is what Indigenous Peoples have been saying ever since the dominant culture began dispossessing them.

Years ago I asked a member of the Tupacamaristas what they wanted for the people of Peru. I was told: “We want to be able to grow and distribute our own food. We already know how to do that. We merely need to be allowed to do so.” There was no mention of green jobs.

What people in the colonies want is not to get jobs servicing the global elite. What they want is to be left alone, and what they want from those of us who profess to be revolutionaries is for us to force the empires to withdraw from their territory. We need not perpetuate the old White Man’s Burden of using our privilege to lift up our less fortunate brothers and sisters into something approximating our own lives. Here is the new morally and ecologically responsible and real burden of being a white man: to undo the damage done by the dominant culture and to destroy the ability of the rich to steal from the poor in the first place.

Knightspirit's picture

I have had a wonderful idea for a long time for creating a documentary along these lines. It follows the steps mentioned here - beginning with the oil extraction, the refining, the creation of plastic pellets being loaded onto a container and then the shipping of them to China. At the factory - the manufacturing process, the shaping etc - and then the boxing, labeling and re-shipping back to the states. Then the distribution center - where the various packages are divided up and loaded onto trucks for yet more shipping. Then to the final destination - a Starbucks, where the plastic twizzle sticks are carefully loaded into a holder and placed at the coffee station. 

The next shot is of a patron - while idly chatting and paying virtually no attention - quickly plucks a stick out of the holder, swirles his coffee for maybe three seconds and tosses it into the trash.

The End.

Noa's picture

I am guilty of unconsciously swirling and tossing as described, aren't we all?  Maybe re-education is what is needed.

The film would argue that no amount of conservation or recycling by individuals will counteract the destructive affects that mega-corps are forcing upon the planet.  Although doing our part may make us feel good, in essence it diverts our attention from the larger issue:  exploitation of natural resources for capitalist gain.


ChrisBowers's picture

Don't kid yourself, we play a vital role in the machine...

Doesn't run without "blue pill" consumers

The Gathering Spot is a PEERS empowerment website
"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"