We feel it is time to set the record straight. The people involved in Fierce Dreams have noticed a tendency for some others to associate us with Derrick Jensen and the group DGR. This is quite surprising to us. We have not directed people toward their material at all, quite deliberately. Many anarchist infoshops (Black Rose most recently, but many others in Australia and overseas) have screened the movie END:CIV as if it is representational of anarchoprimitivist views. This is eyebrow-raising because the movie is largely reliant on the words and ideas of Derrick Jensen. END:CIV as a film has a few decent points but in no way would we say that we support it wholeheartedly. It is highly inaccurate to screen it as if it is a statement by anti-civ anarchists, particularly in light of recent developments, which some folks in Australia seem to be unaware of.
Jensen has lost the plot. DGR is something that we want to distance ourselves from, and have no affinity with. As a group they are myopic, failing to look outside their own organisation very often, and they seem to claim to have all the answers. They routinely condemn anarchists, so why someone would think they are linked with anarchoprimitivism is strange. Make no mistake, Jensen and DGR hate anarchists, and regularly slam them. Now that he no longer requires small distros to get rid of his books, because he has captured the attention of the new age market with his crappy recent titles, Jensen has no need for non-profit anarchist distros and has severed all ties.
We have followed this closely because like many folks we enjoyed some of his early work. But the demise of Jensen and the lunacy of DGR has been going on for a while now, several years at least. Jensen presents as some kind of figurehead of anti-civ theory, but he is not. Most now recognise him as an authoritarian who refuses to acknowledge any other methods resistance to civ outside of himself and his friends. He seriously detests anarchists and primitivists (unless they can somehow advance his cause).
It’s been a long road but here are some of the main points why we are deeply suspicious of anything to do with DGR.
-openly paramilitary and hierarchical nature of DGR
-condemnation/dismissiveness of other resistance currents by DGR
-transphobia of DGR
-The bizarre protocol whereby you ‘join an organisation’ and sign a code of conduct (?!)
-DGR members have been very quick to call the police and FBI against other radicals
Look, the internet is here in front of you so if you want to do more research on these topics yourself, go ahead. Don’t take our word for it.
We consider them part of the problem, and as they slide into irrelevancy they have stopped critiquing civ, Jensen instead wants to stop ‘industrial civilisation’ but presumably continue civ in some form, he is more inclined to use terms like ‘fighting capitalism’ and promotes ‘democracy’.
We are against civilisation, and in the past Jensen has claimed to be against civilisation, but this doesn’t mean we agree with them on all counts, far from it. We feel we are being misrepresented as DGR influenced ‘activists’, or somehow aligned with their views, but we are not! This phenomenon possibly has something to do with the format of the infoshop discussion night, whereby they often show a short film if people are not acquainted with the subject matter, then go on to discuss the film. The subject of what it means to be against civilisation has not and cannot be summarised by a 40 minute film. This is something we have to live with.
The review of END:CIV in this Australian zine ‘Wolves at the Door’ we find to be very strong and lucid, and echoes many of our sentiments, and reservations (available here http://wolvesatthedoor.noblogs.org). It points out many of the problems with this particular movie. An even better critique of DGR itself is the brilliant ‘DGR: Down Graded Resistance’ by Bison Wilder on his blog ‘Earth Spirit and Anarchy’ (available here http://earthspiritandanarchy.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/down-graded-resistance-critique-of-dgr.html). As he notes, an organisation to end civilisation is ridiculous! This article goes into detail to deconstruct why DGR has deep and fundamental problems. Please read these awesome articles, they do a better job than we ever could at pointing out the the inherent illogic that lies behind DGR. Since these articles have been published, DGR unravels more and more as they become more defiant and alienate other groups anyway. Aric McBay, who wrote the best material in their flagship book, recently left DGR for crying out loud! Obviously there are some severe internal issues and problems too.
None of this means that we have a personal problem with any individuals affiliated with DGR and actually have met a couple that are nice people. DGR has members in different areas that run the chapter (as we understand it) with some degree of autonomy so of course some chapters have done some good work. Our criticisms go toward Derrick Jensen, Lierre Kieth, and DGR as an organisation.
AT the end of the day a straw man is being put up, because END:CIV is purported to be a statement of anarchoprimitism and green anarchy when it obviously isn’t. It’s just one film with huge flaws. With the irrelevancy of Jensen and the sinking ship of DGR almost totally submerged, there is no point discussing this documentary anymore. There are sharper writings, critiques, actions, and developments around the globe that have more to offer than a fairly superficial film that quite honestly failed to hit the mark even when it first came out, several years ago now. It’s going to take more readings, discussions, and an honest understanding of what anti-civilisation theory, green anarchy and primitivism are about, to take these ideas further in Australia. This is what we set out to do with Fierce Dreams. We will keep adding to our ‘recommended readings’ and make it more organised so that people know what we DO support and stand by in terms of theory.