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Dear Auntie Civ: You’ll just have to die

Posted in Earth Liberation, Environment, Technology with tags , , , , on June 26, 2011 by Zoe Blunt

Ask Auntie Civ -- the world's first anti-civilization advice columnist!

Dear Auntie Civ,

I am wondering how a post-civilization society will be able to handle chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease. You see, I have Crohn’s disease and the only treatment that works for me requires me to go to a hospital every few weeks to get a 2 hour IV treatment.

Of course, my situation is kind of a Catch-22. Crohn’s is most likely caused by some kind of environmental factor in so-called developed nations (my guess is it’s the food, but who knows). So it looks like civilization gave me Crohn’s, but I can’t survive without civilization.

I’ve met a lot of Primitivists who have flat-out told me I’ll have to die for their utopia, to which I’ve quickly replied, “fuck you.” Surely there must be some kind of way to do away with civilization without asking me and comrades with similar sicknesses to die.

Thanks,

– Chronic Illness

Dear Chronic,

I’m so sorry to hear you have Crohn’s Disease. Derrick Jensen, the guy who wrote Endgame and popularized a lot of this anti-civ philosophy, also has Crohn’s. I have a similar condition myself.

You wrote,

“I’ve met a lot of Primitivists who have flat-out told me I’ll have to die for their utopia”. Please tell me more about that. How many “primitivists” have you talked to? What did they say about this “utopia”?

From your letter, it sounds like you’ve talked to one “primitivist” who was kind of a jerk, and you’re misrepresenting what s/he said.

I’d like to hear more about these kill-off-the-weak-and-sick eugenic “utopians.” Because, you know, that’s fascism, and I will call them out.

About your question: I’m here to advise people who understand and appreciate the reasons why we need to dismantle civilization. I’m not here to argue about whether that’s desirable. I suggest you learn more about the subject and then try again.

– Auntie Civ

Dear Auntie Civ,

I by no means meant to misrepresent your philosophy or the anti-civ movement as a whole. I actually quite like it. Like I said, there’s a lot of evidence that would suggest civilization is a factor in diseases like mine, Derrick’s, and yours.

My question is grounded in the assumption that other sick comrades have come across the population-control crowd (although there are few of them, the internet has certainly given them a new platform that makes them seem larger than they are) and that they have also had bad experiences with people who lack a basic understanding of an anti-civilization stance while calling themselves primitivists or anti-civilization.

I thought the sickness question would be a good one for you to answer so that this misunderstanding can be curbed. I do see how my question may have sounded antagonistic, but I honestly believe this is a question a lot of sick Anarchists deal with at some point, and I’d rather they heard a good answer than someone basically saying, “Shit, sucks for you.”

Civilization is unsustainable, but the (few) Greens that say I just have to die post-civ, and the (few) Reds that say we need to try to hold on to industrial civilization as we know it, are both Anarchists who have no imagination when it comes to creating sustainable alternatives to civilization and capitalism. Since I see how my wording failed, and I really do think this is a worthwhile question for you to answer, let me rephrase.

——–

Dear Auntie Civ,
I am wondering how you think a post-civilization society will be able to handle chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease. You see, I have Crohn’s disease and the only treatment that works for me requires me to go to a hospital every few weeks to get a 2 hour IV treatment.

Of course, my situation is kind of a Catch-22. Crohn’s is most likely caused by some kind of environmental factor in so-called developed nations (my guess is it’s the shitty food, but who knows). So it looks like civilization gave me Crohn’s, but it also looks like civilization is keeping me alive.

There must be a way that sick comrades like me can be against the civilization that gave us these illnesses without being self-destructive. Thanks,

Chronic Illness

Dear Chronic,

Thank you so much for editing the letter. I assume you live in the US, so let me ask you this. What happens to people who don’t have private insurance or public assistance? If you lost your insurance, got cut off the government program, spent all your money, and there was no charity hospital, what would you do then?

What I’m getting at – in my slow way – is that civilization is not the universal rock-solid foundation that many privileged folks take for granted. Insurance companies go bankrupt, states and cities cut programs, and people become “illegal” for whatever reason. I expect to see more of that in the coming years.

Meanwhile, millions of people are dying around the world – and in America – from preventable illnesses, because it’s just not profitable to care for them. They’re not getting any benefit from this great and mighty civilization of ours. In fact, their misery subsidizes the health care that you and I receive. US health insurance corporations cull the poor and weak and sick from their rolls, so you can enjoy the best health care in the world (as long as your insurer gets your monthly premiums).

Socialized medicine is not much different. The Canadian government, for example, rakes in billions of dollars in royalties and taxes from mining companies. Along with wholesale destruction of ecosystems, Canadian corporations profit from poisoning people at home, exploiting them abroad, and murdering them if they get uppity. Their taxes and income keep the health care system going – at least until the commodity price of minerals falls, the cost of oil rises, or people revolt.

So this is a good time to ask oneself: Where does my privilege come from? At whose expense?

Civilization is going to collapse, because that’s the end result of over-exploitation and population overshoot. We’ve exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet, and there’s no way back (short of fantasies of colonizing another planet, and that ain’t going to happen.)

There won’t be any magic formula to trump that reality. There isn’t going to be any “utopia” after the collapse, either. I’m afraid it’s going to be brutal, and I have to keep reminding myself that the system is brutal now, just not for me, because I have the privilege of living in a rich country. I know what kind of violence is carried out in my name — not only against people, but all living things, right down to micro-organisms in the soil. That’s why I say this culture hates life. But life will win.

If civilization was sustainable, if it wasn’t killing the planet, we wouldn’t be advocating for an end to it. There would be no need. The problem is, civilization is unsustainable. That means it can’t be sustained, so it will come to an end. The collapse is already starting. I know many cling to a desperate belief that some magic solution will come from technology or spiritual transcendence or raw vegan spirulina diets. (Much like someone who’s been diagnosed with fatal cancer.)

I’m sorry. There is no solution. That’s the bitter truth. We must rescue what we can.

As you noted, civilization sets up a Catch-22: it’s killing us (and everything else) but we depend on it to live. But even though I depend on it, I can’t defend it. Where I’ve put my energy is defending the land, the water, the climate, the air – because without those things, *no one* will survive the coming centuries.

Love,

Auntie Civ

Auntie Civ,

Thanks for the response. I think the thing that was hardest for me, and is hardest for others, is that by acknowledging that civilization is going to collapse we have to confront that we may die. Or rather, we’re going to die, at some point anyway. I realize that no one is asking me to die. That’s just what happens when you’re sick, old, or standing under the wrong rock. Anyways, the response was very nice. If I come across any more loud, belligerent eugenics folks I’ll let ya know so you can call them out.

– C

Updates from Wild Coast

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment with tags , , , on February 16, 2011 by Zoe Blunt

Resort on Juan de Fuca trail gets the OK from local committee;
Protests expected

Feb. 15 – An overflow crowd jammed the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee meeting Tuesday to critique a sprawling resort proposal along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.

West Vancouver developer Ender Ilkay, owner of the Marine Trail Holdings set of companies, presented his latest plan for 263 vacation homes, 5 caretaker residences, a lodge and two recreation centers along a 16-km stretch of the popular coast wilderness trail. He proposes a 100-meter buffer zone between the trail and the resort’s vacation homes, lodges, roads, and septic fields.

Fifty people spoke in opposition to the rezoning bylaw, with dozens specifically urging the committee to reject the mammoth proposal over concerns about park protection, safety, indigenous rights, sprawl, regional growth and sustainability, and due process. Only half a dozen expressed support.

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Ask Auntie Civ: Why are vegans so angry?

Posted in Animal Liberation, Corporations, Environment, Indigenous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by Zoe Blunt
[Editor's note: Auntie Civ gives advice from an anti-civilization viewpoint. If you'd rather get advice from a vegetarian or techno-utopian, ask one.]  

Why do environmentalists eat meat? (Part Two)

Dear Auntie Civ,

You’re so old and senile, you’re not even making sense. Give a proper answer to the vegetarians, or give up and admit you’re losing it.

Another Vegetarian

Dear Veg,

Oh dear. It’s true, I’ve been terribly distracted. I’m not well, you see. But thank you for your letter. This reminds me of the years I gave up eating animal products – I was vegan for five years. Then I started having allergic reactions to soy and wheat. It was terribly painful and embarrassing. I lost weight, my hair was falling out, I broke out in a rash, and my stomach trouble was so bad I had to wear adult diapers. I’m doing much better now on a sort of “caveman” diet. Very little processed food of any kind. Not much fiber at all. It would seem I’m one of those people who can’t live on a vegan diet – it tears up my insides.

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Auntie Civ: How to bring it down and why

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Revolution with tags , on February 4, 2010 by Zoe Blunt

old-woman-bigMeet Auntie Civ, the world’s first anti-civilization advice columnist!

Hi kids, it’s your Auntie Civ here. I want to say you all deserve a huge shout-out for your amazing efforts! It’s hard work, challenging the stifling conventions of this destructive society, not to mention preparing for the collapse of civilization (and even helping it along a bit!) I’m moved by the passion and resourcefulness and dedication of the happy bands of ruffians diving in dumpsters, hopping trains, and living in the woods. The sheer exuberance of these semi-feral young people puts a song in my cynical old heart.

Now, I can’t hop trains anymore because of the arthritis, but I can help in other ways. I’ve learned a few things over the decades and I’d like others to benefit from my experience. There’s a lot at stake, and I know the struggle can be overwhelming for even the bravest soul. Please, get it off your chest. Ask Auntie Civ anything — whether it’s free advice, anti-civilization insights, or funny stories from the bad old days, I’ll reply to everyone and post the best questions and answers here.

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The Courage to Speak Truth to Power

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Housing Rights, Indigenous, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by Zoe Blunt

Courage The more we challenge the status quo, the more the entrenched powers resist and attack us. Fortunately, social justice is not a popularity contest.

Activism is healing, spiritual growth, self-defense, and it’s protecting our future.

I gave the following speech as the homily for the Capital Unitarian congregation. January 10, 2009, Victoria, BC

Thank you for the opportunity to launch my speaking career. Some of you may know me as a writer and an advocate for social and environmental justice. I’m also available for workshops, interviews, conferences, writing and editing, cat-sitting, domestic help, and other odd jobs. (Laughter) I knew when I started out in this line that I would never be a millionaire and I was right. But I have a certain freedom and flexibility that your average millionaire might envy.

The market demand for social justice advocates is huge right now. It’s a growth industry. And the job security is fantastic – there is no shortage of urgent issues demanding our attention. Experience is not necessary, people come to activism at every age and stage in their lives. It’s that easy!

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Love letters and hate mail from the Wild Coast

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Indigenous, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2009 by Zoe Blunt

Zoe No 2010

I get love letters. I get death threats. Out here on Coast Salish territory — Vancouver Island, British Columbia — land barons and developers are rushing to carve up the last of the Wild West frontier. Cold cash and brute force have always worked to subdue the land and anyone in their way … until now. The bullies have met their match! It’s a fascinating time for environmental activists on Canada’s west coast.

Here’s a few highlights from the blog archives:

I’m No Action Hero

Great Bear Rainforest: The Clearcut Truth

Direct Action is the Antidote to Despair

Interview with the Earth Liberation Front

Killing Spotted Owls with Chainsaws


Derrick Jensen: This Abusive Civilization


Kwakiutl: We are Going to Start Fighting

First Nations Activist Dies After Release from Jail

Squat or Die

Enjoy!

Zoe Blunt is a contributor to Guerrilla News. Read more at her blog, Wild Coast

After the 2010 Riot

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, General News, Housing Rights, Indigenous, Police State with tags , on November 27, 2009 by Zoe Blunt

(Another in our series of articles written for GNN.tv by users of the now closed online community, originally published Fri, 19 Dec 2008)

Report back from the Olympic resistance in Vancouver

The 2010 Olympics are over, and we’re told that everything is back to normal. Wrong. Vancouver will never be the same.

Never mind what the news jockeys said about the thrilling celebration of our nation’s proud heritage, showcasing our city, hosting the admiring elite of the world, promoting our youth, and attracting new business and tourism. It’s all bullshit. For us here at ground zero, the Olympics turned the Lower Mainland into a nightmare landscape of security zones, armed troops, and police traps. And guess what? The nightmare didn’t end when the circus left town.

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