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Your country needs you

Derrick Jensen

1st June, 2003

Does it annoy you that the earth is being destroyed to benefit a tiny minority? Enough to do something about it? Derrick Jensen invites you to join him on the barricades

If someone put a plastic bag over your head, or over the head of someone you love, and said they would give you money if you left it there, would you take the cash? If you said no, what would you do if he insisted at gunpoint? Would you still take the money? Or would you fight back? Before you make up your mind, read the following sentence.

The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system. That seems so self-evident I’m embarrassed to write it down, but it’s a notion that entirely escapes our public (and private) discourse. I recently read a tiny article on page seven, I repeat SEVEN, of The San Francisco Chronicle. It stated that every single stream – every single stream – in the US is contaminated with toxic chemicals, and that one fifth of all animals and one sixth of all plants could become extinct within the next 30 years. (Given that every mother’s milk is contaminated with toxic chemicals, why should we expect streams to be less endangered?)

And on page one? A huge article waxing lyrical about Elvis memorabilia. Think about it for a second: what is the real source of life? Of food, air, water? Is it the economic system? Of...


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