#146 | The Progressive School: Self-Directed Learning, Democracy, & Play w/ Ian Campbell

In this episode, I speak with community-oriented educator and co-founder of North Texas Progressive Schools (NTxPS) Ian Campbell. We discuss the fundamental principles of self-directed learning and progressive schooling, the necessity of play in childhood development, and the value of instilling democratic values and collective decision-making through education. We also discuss the potent example of collective decision-making through Ian's research into the radical social revolution in Rojava, a Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

Ian and I discuss the fundamentals of progressive educational models in modern progressive schools, and how a school practicing self-directed learning would function. To give a precise definition, self-directed learning is “a process in which a student is responsible for organizing and managing his or her own learning activities and needs.” We discuss what education for children looks like when this fundamental principle is encouraged and maintained within a learning environment, as demonstrated in the schools apart of the NTxPS. We also discuss the value of play in the developmental and learning processes of children and adolescents, as well as the impact democratic decision-making in progressive schooling has in an individual’s social development, as well.

Ian Campbell is community-oriented educator and is the co-founder of North Texas Progressive Schools (NTxPS), which promotes progressive education for North Texas families and provides opportunities for collaboration among member schools. School representatives, including students, meet monthly to collaborate on events such as art shows, sports meet-up, field days, and chess tournaments, share resources, as well as spreading awareness of the progressive school movements and education options for families in North Texas. Inspired by the mass organizing efforts of groups as diverse as the Iroquois Confederacy and the mutual aid-based disaster relief done in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Maria, Ian has grouped up some like-minded individuals and drew up the plans for a network that would make self-directed education a household name as an alternative to traditional public and private schools. A year later, it has grown into a network of eight schools, with several others working closely but unofficially.

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Ian and his work with North Texas Progressive Schools at the website: https://self-directedpath.org/ntxps

- Learn more about the social revolution in Rojava at Ian’s YouTube channel ‘Neighbor Democracy’: http://bit.ly/NeighborDemocracy

- The songs featured in this episode are “Za'atar Smoke” and “Collage Pt. 3 Rush Hour” by The Alchemist from the album Israeli Salad.

#145 | Inheritors Of The Earth: Approaching Conservation In The Anthropocene w/ Chris Thomas

In this episode I speak with ecologist and evolutionary biologist Chris Thomas — author of ‘Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction.’

In this discussion, Chris lays out his understanding of whether we have truly entered into the “Sixth Mass Extinction Event,” and provides his views on whether the current rate of species extinction on this planet lives up to that dire description. Chris also discusses the difficult challenges ecologists and conservationists are currently facing in the effort to preserve species in a radically changing world, and lays out the choices that lay before us when it comes to the difficult task of conserving biodiversity and preventing species loss in the face of anthropogenic climate change and other human-caused crises. We also discuss his view of whether abrupt changes in the global climate system will lead to severe loss of life on this planet, in particular human life — or whether many of the fears regarding this subject are overblown, but rooted in legitimate understandings of where these changes can ultimately lead. Chris invites us to look at species loss with a longer view, and understand these trends within perspective of millions of years of biological evolution and ecological change on this planet.

Chris Thomas is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, interested in the dynamics of biological change in the Anthropocene. He works on the responses of species to climate change, habitat fragmentation, and biological invasions. He is interested in developing conservation strategies appropriate for a period of rapid environmental change. His research has concentrated on insects and insect-plant interactions, but he is interested in a wide range of taxonomic groups, especially butterflies, birds and plants. In addition to his scientific publications, Chris has been a co-editor of nine scientific journals and is the author of ‘Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction.’☼

☼ Source: http://bit.ly/ThomasBio

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about and purchase ‘Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction’ here: http://bit.ly/InheritorsBook

- Learn more about Chris and his research here: http://bit.ly/ThomasBio

- Follow Chris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Prof_CThomas

- At the end of this episode, Chris recommended the book ‘The Sixth Mass Extinction: An Unnatural History’ by Elizabeth Kolbert. Learn more and purchase here: http://bit.ly/6thextinctionbook

- The songs featured in this episode are “Bloom” and “Neon” by Zomby from the album Let’s Jam!!

#144 | At The End: The Conversations We Need To Start Having w/ Kevin Hester & Rob Seimetz

In this episode, I speak with Kevin Hester, host of ‘Nature Bats Last,’ and Rob Seimetz, host of ‘Moving Forward,’ in a group conversation in which we discuss living in a time of accelerating change, abrupt climate disruption, and extinction.

As the climate crisis continues to accelerate, and the likelihood of mass human displacement and extinction increases by the year, what does it mean to live and be in this time? The nature of this discussion with Kevin and Rob is to approach the difficulties of accepting the reality of the situation we are in and applying this understanding to our day-to-day existence, with all the complexities and inconsistencies that come with that. What does it mean to have and bear children in this time? How does this time of accelerating crisis (whether it be the climate system, ecological, economic, etc) inform our politics and political activism? We ask these questions in light of rising authoritarianism and full-fledged fascism worldwide, widespread social division, rising state/corporate surveillance and violence, and the accelerating loss of biodiversity across the bioshere. The deeper question that comes up in the face of the likely near-term extinction of the human species is: what is this crisis asking of us as individuals and as a collective? How do we act in this time? 

In the face of extinction, it is imperative that we act and resist beautifully, with love, in the time that we have, without being attached to the outcome. There is no map to the territory we have entered into, as individuals and as a species. At the very least, we must begin the process of accepting this truth in light of our current predicament, and aid others in their journey to acceptance, as well.

I thank Kevin and Rob for their directness, honesty, and the courage to have the conversation most are unwilling or unable to have. Kevin Hester is the host of Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network, and lives on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand. Rob Seimetz is the host of Moving Forward on the Progressive Radio Network, contributes frequently to the online publication Counterpunch, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon in the United States.

Episode Notes:

- Follow Kevin’s work on his website: https://kevinhester.live

- Listen and subscribe to Kevin’s show ‘Nature Bats Last’ on PRN: http://bit.ly/NaturePRN

- Follow Rob’s work on his website: https://robmovesforward.wordpress.com

- Listen and subscribe to Rob’s show ‘Moving Forward’ on PRN: http://bit.ly/MovingPRN

- The songs featured in this episode are “God’s Away On Business” and “Diamond In Your Mind” by Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet from the album Healing The Divide.

#143 | The New Primitives: The Reverse Teleology Of Primitivist Transformation w/ Ben Etherington

Our guest for this episode is Ben Etherington — author of 'Literary Primitivism' and the long-form essay, published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, titled 'The New Primitives' — the themes of which we discuss in this episode. In this discussion, Ben lays out a nuanced examination of Primitivism — a “mode of aesthetic idealization that either emulates or aspires to recreate ‘primitive’ experience.”☽ 

In modern Western societies, the primitivist ideal is expressed though various means — a few examples being contemporary dietary fads like the “Paleo Diet,” fitness regimens like barefoot/minimalist running, radical anti-civilizational and anti- technological political philosophies (e.g. the works of anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan and the manifesto of the UNABOMBER Theodore Kaczynski) — as well as in popular films, literature, and art. Primitivist themes and aesthetics run through several popular films, most notably in James Cameron’s blockbuster film ’Avatar.’ To quote from Ben’s essay: “The plot of the film follows the tested formula of primitivist transformation. A man of civilization, in this case the paraplegic US marine Jake Sully, is sent to colonize the primitive lands beyond civilization’s perimeter only himself to ‘go primitive’ after learning of their innocent beauty and recognizing the barbarism of his own destructive civilization.”✛ 

Ben, in this essay and in this discussion, understands Primitivism as a reverse teleology: “Marx’s communist society or the techno-utopias of Silicon Valley are premised on transcendence. When workers own the factories or robots do the menial labor, humans will be free to pursue their inmost desires. For primitivists, humans have previously achieved this state, and our urgent project is to restore it. We are to move forward into our past; or, equally, backward into our future.”✛

What does this theme of “primitivist transformation” tell us about our current set of living arrangements in the “modern” world? What does this longing for more “primitive” forms of living and being mean within the broader scope of historical development, especially as we enter into the late stage of capitalist development on this planet?  We delve into this rich subject in this episode.

Ben Etherington is senior lecturer in postcolonial and world literary studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre. He holds honours degrees in Musicology and English from the University of Western Australia. He was awarded a General Sir John Monash Award to undertake an MPhil and PhD in English at the University of Cambridge, where he was later a Faculty of English research fellow. His publications include ‘Literary Primitivism’, the ‘Cambridge Companion to World Literature,’ and ‘Unsettled Poetics: Contemporary Australian and South African Poetry.’☯︎

☽ Source: http://bit.ly/Primitivism
✛ Source: http://bit.ly/NewPrimitives
☯︎ Source: http://bit.ly/LARBbio

Episode Notes:

- Read Ben’s essay ‘The New Primitives’ here: http://bit.ly/NewPrimitives

- John Zerzan’s response: http://bit.ly/ZerzanLetter

- Learn about and purchase Ben’s book ‘Literary Primitivism’ here: http://bit.ly/LiteraryPrimitivism

- The songs featured in this episode are “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and “Apocalypse Dreams” by Tame Impala from the album Lonerism. 


#142 | Reckoning With Whiteness: Privilege & The Wounds Of Identity w/ Tad Hargrave

In this episode, I speak with writer Tad Hargrave about his work exploring, unpacking, and addressing the concept and social reality of “whiteness” — more broadly the roots, or lack thereof, of “white culture” as we understand it to be today.

Tad and I discuss the difficult subject of race, in particular the modern and the relatively recent (historically speaking)formation of the concept of “whiteness.” To be labeled and exist as a “white” person in our current era is to live with certain privileges within the dominant culture of North America — some of which are subtle, and many of which are not subtle at all. It is important to note that along with the privileges that come with existing as a white person in modern North America, to be "white" is also to lack a connection to the land and place white people reside in. Also, to be "white" is to bear unacknowledged wounds -- intergenerational traumas that inevitably stem from being the descendants of people that fled the brutalities of Europe during centuries of land enclosures, colonial expansion, and rapid industrialization. In the process of assimilating to the dominant culture of North America, North Americans of European descent shed themselves of their ethnic and cultural traditions and ties to their homelands, and instead adopted the racial identity and social category of “white.” Of course, I’m speaking in broad generalities when it comes to this subject, but I do think that by understanding the historical trends and events that have brought us to this time and place we are in, we can begin to have an honest conversation about the subject of race, as well as engage in the difficult task of unpacking the concept of “whiteness” and begin reckoning with what we may find in this exploration. Tad provides a nuanced and enlightening perspective in our examination of the concept of “whiteness" and superbly wrestles with the complexity of the subjects discussed in this episode.

Tad Hargrave is a man with an eclectic background. Tad is a founding member of several comedy troupes, dedicated almost two years of his life learning his ancestral language (Scottish Gaelic) in Nova Scotia and Scotland, runs a marketing website “Marketing For Hippies,” worked as the Executive Director of the Canadian branch of Youth for Environmental Sanity (a world renowned youth organization), and writes for the the blog “Healing From Whiteness: Remembering the Larger Story of History” — which is the basis of this discussion. Tad lives in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.♰

♰ Source: http://bit.ly/2NDenI4

Episode Notes:

- Read Tad’s excellent essays on the subjects discussed in this episode at his blog “Healing From Whiteness” here: https://healingfromwhiteness.blogspot.com

- Learn more about Tad’s website “Marketing For Hippies” here: https://marketingforhippies.com

- Follow Tad’s page on Facebook “Dear White Men” here: https://www.facebook.com/DearWhiteMen

- The introduction features the voice of James Baldwin. Source: https://youtu.be/nAmL3F5uylo

- The songs featured in this episode are “What Can I Do (feat. Jonwayne)” and “Rough” by Samiyam from the album Pizza Party.

#141 | Initiation: A New Story Of Climate w/ Charles Eisenstein

Our guest for this episode is Charles Eisenstein — public speaker and author of several influential books, including ’Sacred Economics,’ ’The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible,’ and most recently ‘Climate: A New Story.’ 

In this interview, I ask Charles to discuss the themes and ideas presented in his upcoming book ‘Climate: A New Story,’ a book that "flips the script on climate change," making the "case for a wholesale reimagining of the framing, tactics, and goals we employ in our journey to heal from ecological destruction," in which the global climate crisis ultimately stems from.☀︎ As someone deeply concerned about ecological crisis unfolding on this planet, I asked Charles expound on his understanding of what the planetary crisis is asking of us as a collective and as individual members of the human species. Are we going to continue to live within and act on behalf of a paradigm that disconnects us from the living planet, alienates and disconnects us from each other and the land we live on, and rationalizes the ongoing maintenance of a global economic system that demands infinite growth in order to exist? The climate crisis, and the ecological crisis more broadly, points to the deeper crisis of meaning humanity is coming up against in this time we find ourselves in. The stories we have been telling ourselves about our role on this planet no longer make sense, for very obvious reasons. The abrupt changes in the global climate system speaks to this reality. 

Is humanity meant for self-destruction (an evolutionary cul-de-sac), or is this crisis pointing to something else entirely? Can we develop a right relationship and role within the living systems of this planet by beginning the sacred process of healing from the wounds we have wrought on our long journey to this moment? We discuss this and more in this episode.

Charles Eisenstein and his work has deeply influenced my thinking and understanding of the nature of the converging crises we are experiencing in this time we all share. I have to thank Charles for taking the time to speak with me for this episode, and to Marie Goodwin for setting this interview up. Charles is a teacher, speaker, and writer that focuses on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. He is the host of the podcast ‘A New and Ancient Story,’ a podcast that engages in topics that “revolve around concepts of interbeing and ‘technologies of reunion’ — anything drawing from and contributing to a new story, including material, social, psychological, agricultural, healing, and educational ‘technologies.’”☽ He is the author of several books that expound on these topics, including ‘The Yoga of Eating,’ ‘The Ascent of Humanity,’ ’Sacred Economics,’ ’The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible,’ and most recently ‘Climate: A New Story.

☀︎ Source: http://bit.ly/ClimateNewStory
☽ Source: http://bit.ly/NewAncientStory

Episode Notes:

- Pre-order Charles' new book ‘Climate: A New Story’ here: http://bit.ly/ClimateNewStory

- Learn more about Charles and his work at his website: https://charleseisenstein.net

- Listen to and follow Charles podcast ‘A New and Ancient Story’ here: http://bit.ly/NewAncientStory

- The songs featured in this episode are “Twelve O’Clock Shadow” and “Demon’s Lullaby” by Flako from the album Twelve O’Clock Shadow - EP.

#140 | The Grand Narrative Of Progress: The Neoliberal Order & Participatory Politics w/ Jeremy Lent

In this episode, I speak with Jeremy Lent — integrator and author of ‘The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning,’ and the founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, an organization “dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview, both scientifically rigorous and intrinsically meaningful, that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the earth.”♢

In this conversation with Jeremy, we start off discussing Jeremy’s excellent critique of cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author Steven Pinker’s recent book ‘Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.’ Jeremy initially presented his brilliant critique in his widely-shared article ‘Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why,’ which we delve into in this episode. Jeremy unpacks the underlying assumptions implicit in Pinker’s ideas presented in his work, in particular regarding Pinker’s defense (through cherry-picking of data) of the capitalist neoliberal economic order, and more broadly of the “progress narrative” that justifies (or outright ignores) the widespread ecological devastation implicit in the expansion and maintenance of industrial civilization and the institutions that uphold it. In the later part of this discussion, we discuss the balance of participating in electoral politics while simultaneously recognizing its deep systemic flaws, and the importance of generating viable alternatives that exist outside of the logic and operations of dominant political and economic institutions of our time. 

Jeremy Lent is an author and founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering a worldview that could enable humanity to thrive sustainably on the earth. The Liology Institute, which integrates systems science with ancient wisdom traditions, holds regular workshops and other events in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to ‘The Patterning Instinct,’ Jeremy is author of the novel ‘Requiem of the Human Soul.’ Jeremy holds a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Jeremy is currently working on his next book provisionally entitled The Web of Meaning: An Integration of Modern Science with Traditional Wisdom, which combines findings in cognitive science, systems theory, and traditional Chinese and Buddhist thought, offering a framework that integrates both science and meaning in a coherent whole.☀︎

♢Source: http://bit.ly/LentAbout
☀︎Source: http://bit.ly/JeremyLent

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Jeremy and his work at his website: https://www.jeremylent.com

- Read Jeremy’s article ‘Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.’ here: http://bit.ly/2MWuTmn

- Keep up with Jeremy’s writings on his blog: https://patternsofmeaning.com

- Learn more about Jeremy’s book ‘The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning’ here: http://bit.ly/PatterningInstinct

- Learn more about the Liology Institute here: http://www.liology.org

- Follow Jeremy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeremyRLent

- Follow Jeremy of Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeremyRLent

- The songs featured in this episode are “Frmnowhere,” “bodies[TOTW],” and “Noflowrs[Instrw]” by Knxwledge from the album Hud Dreems.

#139 | Physician, Heal Thyself: Ayahuasca, Epigentics, & Integrative Medicine w/ Dr. Joe Tafur

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Joe Tafur — Family Physician, Shipibo-trained Shaman, Integrative Medicine activist, and the author of ‘The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor's Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine.’ We discuss Dr. Tafur’s years of work integrating Western medical knowledge and practice with traditional Amazonian plant medicine, in particular the administering of the psychedelic brew ayahuasca, and other plant medicines, under the traditional practice of Shipibo shamanism. 

In this conversation, Dr. Tafur discusses how two seemingly different traditions (i.e. Western medicine and Shipibo shamanism) can become more integrated with each other, in ways previously not understood or considered possible, for doctors and shamans alike. Dr. Tafur elaborates on how Western medical research and practice has been successful in very specific forms of healing, while simultaneously failing in many others — hence the widespread, growing interest in traditional plant medicines and healing practices in ancient shamanic traditions, often found outside of the broader Western model of medicine and healing. In particular, we discuss how Shipibo shamanism and the administering of sacred plant medicines within this shamanic practice works on the epigenetic level of the illness, generating dramatic changes within the “emotional body” of the individual, manifesting on the physical level of the body. As someone who is well-educated and well-versed in both of these traditions, Dr. Tafur is revolutionizing the collective understanding of how “modern” medical practitioners have plenty to learn and integrate from the shamanic use of traditional plant medicine, and vice versa. Dr. Tafur expounds upon this subject in this episode.

Dr. Joe Tafur is an Integrative Medicine activist, having studied medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. After residency, Dr. Tafur subsequently completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry under psychoneuroimmunology expert Dr. Paul Mills. While in San Diego, he also served on the board for the Alternative Healing Network and on the Steering Committee for the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine. After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo shaman Ricardo Amaringo and trained in Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine. At the center, Dr. Tafur completed traditional apprenticeship in ayahuasca shamanism. He is both doctor and shaman. ✦

✦ Source: http://bit.ly/TafurAbout / https://amzn.to/2P3NqyG

Episode Notes:

- Find out more about Dr. Tafur and his work at his website: https://drjoetafur.com

- Learn more, and purchase, Dr. Tafur’s book ‘The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor's Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine’ here: http://bit.ly/FellowshipRiver

- Learn more about Dr. Tafur’s organization Modern Spirit here: https://modernspirit.org

- The traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual: https://www.nihuerao.com

- Watch the presentation “Ayahuasca Shamanism and Epigenetics” featuring Dr. Tafur here: https://youtu.be/QbsXOO7AB_U

- The song featured in this episode is “Ikaro de la Ayahuasca” by Don Evangelino Murayay from the album El Canto del Tiempo/Ayahuasca Ikaros.

#138 | Survival of the Richest: Anticipating 'The Event' & The Anti-Human Agenda w/ Douglas Rushkoff

In this episode, I speak with writer, documentarian, and lecturer Douglas Rushkoff. Douglas has authored numerous best-selling books, including ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity,’ ‘Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now,’ ‘Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age,’ and the yet-to-be released ’Team Human.’ Douglas’s lifetime of work has focused primarily on human autonomy in the digital age. 

We start this episode by discussing Douglas’s widely shared article, published on Medium and picked up by CNBC, ‘Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind.’ In the article, Douglas describes a situation in which he was invited to a private meeting with several ultra-wealthy men to go over their questions regarding technological trends in cryptocurrency, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence, as well as their deep-seated concerns regarding “The Event” — a reference to the portending threat of abrupt climate change, nuclear war, social unrest, and economic collapse looming on the horizon of our collective future. Douglas provides a practical and humanistic response to these concerns regarding this future “Event” — emphasizing the inherent value of fostering human relationships with others outside of the logic of Capital and monetary transactions. From there, we discuss the corporate capitalist take over of the Internet, the (de)colonization of human attention, and the value of treating social media and digital communication as an adjunct to direct human relationships and experience. In the later part of this interview, I ask Douglas to share his thoughts on WikiLeaks, the precarious situation of Julian Assange, and the value of whistleblower organizations like WikiLeaks shedding a light on the internal dealings of corporate and government entities in the digital age.

Douglas Rushkoff is the host of the ‘Team Human’ podcast and author of ‘Team Human’ as well as a dozen other bestselling books on media, technology, and culture, including, ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity,’ ‘Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed,’ ‘Media Virus,’ and the novel ‘Ecstasy Club.’ He is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens. He wrote the graphic novels ‘Aleister & Adolf,’ ‘Testament,’ and ‘A.D.D.,’ and made the television documentaries ‘Generation Like,’ ‘Merchants of Cool,’ ‘The Persuaders,’ and ‘Digital Nation.’ He lives in New York, and lectures about media, society, and economics around the world.☽

☽ Source: http://bit.ly/2Muiupl

Episode Notes:

- Everything you would ever need to know about Douglas and his work can be found at his website: http://www.rushkoff.com

- Pre-order Douglas’s upcoming book ‘Team Human’ here: http://bit.ly/TeamHumanPreorder

- Read ‘Survival of the Richest: The wealthy are plotting to leave us behind’ here: http://bit.ly/SurvivalOfTheRichest

- Listen and subscribe to Douglas’s podcast ‘Team Human’ here: https://teamhuman.fm

- Follow Douglas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rushkoff

- Listen to my conversation with Rob Seimetz on his show ‘Moving Forward’ on The Progressive Radio Network: http://bit.ly/2MyjBEz

- The song featured in this episode is “Queen Persephone” by Dirty Art Club from the album Basement Seance. 

#137 | We Choose To Speak: The Living Planet & Dismantling The Culture Of Empire w/ Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a third-generation organizer, photographer, and co-founder of Deep Green Resistance. Max is the author of ‘We Choose To Speak’ — a collection of essays written between 2013 to 2018, in which Max “make[s] the case for a revolutionary environmentalism that aims to forcefully dismantle the global culture of empire.”☨

Our culture is a life-destroying force on this planet. What is to be done in the face of the reality industrial civilization is forging on the living planet we all share? Max Wilbert and I discuss this question within the context of Max's years of work discussing and raising awareness of the large-scale ecological crisis currently unfolding on this living planet under the global system and logic of capitalist industry and Empire (under the guise of “economic prosperity” and “development”). We delve into Max’s years of work of organizing, educating, and actively fomenting practical and diverse forms of resistance against the structures (infrastructure) of industrial civilization, as well as what forms of resistance are required of us to effectively dismantle this industrial civilization and culture. Along with these subjects, this conversation includes an exploration into the structure and evolution of civilization over human history, anticipating the collapse of industrial civilization and fitting the reality of collapse within the broader struggle against industrial civilization, as well as keeping “your head above the tide” and always keeping the bigger picture of our collective predicament in mind when organizing for this kind of resistance. 

Max Wilbert is a third-generation organizer who grew up in Seattle’s post-WTO anti-globalization and undoing racism movement. Max has a 15-year history as an organizer and revolutionary. He is a co-founder of Deep Green Resistance and longtime board member of a small, grassroots environmental non-profit with no employees and no corporate funding. His first book ‘We Choose To Speak,’ a collection of pro-feminist and environmental essays written over a six-year period, was released in 2018. He is also the co-author of the forthcoming book ‘Bright Green Lies,’ which looks at the problems with mainstream so-called “solutions” such as solar panels, electric cars, recycling, and green cities. The book makes the case that these approaches fail to protect the planet and aim at protecting empire from the effects of peak oil and ecological collapse.⚐ 


Episode Notes:

- Learn everything you need to know about Max and his work at his website: https://www.maxwilbert.org

- Purchase ‘We Choose To Speak’ from Max directly at his website [http://bit.ly/2MkkVuu] or on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ncX5WH

- Max posts videos discussing the subjects we go over in this episode regularly on his YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/MaxWvideo

- Check out Max’s amazing photography here: http://bit.ly/MaxPhoto

- Follow Max on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaxWilbert

- The song featured in this episode is “Prayer” by Adam Ben Ezra from the album Can’t Stop Running.