An illustration of resistance and interconnection, coming from Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Ghandi. I left it long form, but it's worth reading it all.
Jensen argues that, “if your experience is that your food comes from the grocery store and your water comes from the tap, then you are going to defend to the death the system that brings those to you because your life depends on them. If your experience, however is that your food comes from a landbase and that your water comes from a stream, well then you will defend to the death that land base and that stream.”
Until a time where we understand that our own well-being is dependent on the health of The Whole, we will not adequately resist a culture that seems hell-bent on pillaging every square inch of the planet, polluting our air, soil, and waterways along the way. Unfortunately, nothing stops us from understanding our interdependency with our land better than the troika of industrialism, capitalism, and monetary economics. It is yet another chicken-and-egg mess we seem to have gotten ourselves into.
To those of us who are deluded to such an extent that we act as if our lives are dependent on supermarkets, some of this may seem a touch abstract of theoretical. To those — such as the Piraha, an indigenous hunter-gather people of the Brazilian Amazon — whose cultures have thus far resisted The Machine and who have retained a deep understanding of their connection to the Great Web of Life, the idea that human well-being is dependent on the health of the land, the air, and the waterways is basic common sense, even if they have no need to intellectualize it.
To toxify their rivers would be to, quite literally, poison themselves. To annihilate the flora and fauna on which their own lives are intricately reliant, would be to annihilate themselves. To pollute their air would be to pollute their lungs, to erode their topsoil would be to directly diminish the vitamins and minerals that make up their own flesh and bones. Native land-based peoples usually understand (or more commonly now, understood) this to a much deeper degree than those whose lives have been mechanized by industrial civilization. This is why they are less afraid to defend their lands with everything they’ve got when they come under attack from the incursions of The Machine. They certainly do not bother to constrain themselves with civilized ethics that don’t hold up to even the most gentle investigation.
We come from the Earth, and so we eat from the Earth. Without all its component, systematic parts working and intact, we are damaging ourselves and our survival. When we poison our land, we poison our food. When we poison our rivers, we poison our water, and often that water goes to nourish our food. And poison air works its way into the respiratory systems of all life, plants and animals included.
Corporations and governments know, that if resistance movements gain enough wide-scale support, they can no longer continue business as usual. As such, they work to keep people living in complacency and fear of retaliation. They give just enough freedom and benefits to subdue revolt. They glorify nonviolence and erase that effective change has been created using a variety of tactics as self-defense. (Bear in mind that violent resistance often means damage to property of corporations, and not violence towards others. Violence towards other humans is terrorism by definition. Though be wary that violence towards the poor is often labeled justice and violence towards the rich and their property is labeled terrorism).
If you and I, if all our communities were to join a resistance movement, to march against the tar sands, to occupy lands earmarked for development and ecological devastation, to "Love Water Not Oil," to bring our gifts to aboveground and underground Earth-focused resistance movements alike — to defend the life in our ecosystems that cannot defend itself — what kind of change would we create?