derrick jensen Quotes

Derrick Jensen Quotes

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Quotes

    • We are members of the most destructive culture ever to exist. Our assault on the natural world, on indigenous and other cultures, on women, on children, on all of us through the possibility of nuclear suicide and other means--all these are unprecedented in their magnitude and ferocity.
    • A very cool kid came up to me after a talk and said 'I want to go blow up a factory.' I asked how old he was and he said 17. I said 'have you ever had sex?' He said 'no.' I said 'just remember if you get caught you aren't going to have sex for twenty years at least.' That's not saying that one person having sex is worth the salmon. I'm not saying it's a reason not to act, I'm saying don't be stupid.
    • I've never written this before in public, but my first thought on September 11 when I heard someone was attacking the World Trade Center is, 'Ah, so now it begins. Someone is finally fighting back. Given the terror that the United States routinely inflicts on people (including nonhumans, of course) the world over (and of course now a couple of years later the United States calls these programs of systematic terror 'Shock and Awe'), I'm surprised it didn't happen long ago. The poor have been very patient and long suffering, more patient and long suffering than anyone could ever expect.' That is what I thought.
    • Jeanette [Armstrong, 'a traditional Okanagan Indian'] said, 'Attitudes about interspecies communication are the primary difference between western and indigenous philosophies. Even the most progressive western philosophers still generally believe that listening to the land is a metaphor.' She paused, then continued emphatically, 'It's not a metaphor. It's how the world is.'
    • I sat at the computer at work, debugging. I was bored. It was afternoon. I was twenty-two. It was June. Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, thunderheads move in almost every afternoon between May and early July. They materialize, darken the day, spit a few drops, open the sky with lightning, then disappear like so many dreams.
    • Turning away from the computer I saw through my own narrow window (at least it opened) the green, the blue, the flashes. I looked to the clock, the screen, the window. An hour passed, then two. I looked again at the clock and saw it had been only twenty minutes. I willed the second-hand, the minute-hand, the hour-hand to move faster, to deliver me to five o'clock when I would be released as from my prison term. Then suddenly I stopped, struck by the absurdity of wishing away the only thing I've got. Eight hours, eighty years, it was all too similar. Would I wish away the years until the day of my retirement, until my time was once again my own? At work I tried to keep busy to make the hours pass quickly. It was no different when watching television, socializing, moving frenetically--there are so many ways to kill time.
    • I remember staring at the computer screen--light green letters on dark--then at the clock, and finally at my outstretched fingers held a foot in front of my face. And then it dawned on me: selling the hours of my life was no different from selling my fingers one by one. We've only so many hours, so many fingers; when they're gone, they're gone for good.
    • I quit work two weeks later--having sold another eighty of my hours--and knew I could never again work a regular job.
    • I could not have learned to listen to coyotes without having first learned to listen to my unwillingness to sell my hours, then to listen to the signals of my body, then to listen to the disease that has made my insides my home, and thus become a part of me. And I could not have learned to listen to coyotes without having talked to other people courageous enough to validate my perception of an animate world. I talked to the writer Christoper Manes, who said, 'For most cultures through history--including our own in preliterate times--the entire world used to speak. Anthropologists call this animism, the most pervasive worldview in human history. Animistic cultures listen to the natural world. For them, birds have something to say. So do worms, wolves, and waterfalls.' Later the philosopher Thomas Berry told me, 'The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees--all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related.'
    • In order for us to maintain our way of living, we must, in a broad sense, tell lies to each other, and especially to ourselves. It is not necessary that the lies be particularly believable. The lies act as barriers to truth. These barriers to truth are necessary because without them many deplorable acts would become impossibilities.
    • There can be no real peace when living with someone who has already declared war, no peace but capitulation. And even that, as we see around us, doesn't lead to further peace but to further degradation and exploitation. We're responsible for not only what we do but for what is in our power to stop. Before we can speak of peace, we have to speak honestly of stopping, by any and all means possible, those who have declared war on the world and on us. Those who destroy wont stop because we ask nicely. There is only one language that they understand, and everyone here knows what it is. Yet we don't speak of it openly.
    • Love does not imply pacifism.
    • From the beginning, this culture - civilization - has been a culture of occupation.
    • I want to bring down civilization. It's really clear that civilization is killing the planet.
    • derrick jensen

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