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Free epub The Culture of Make BelieveAuthor Derrick Jensen –

Derrick Jensen Takes No Prisoners In The Culture Of Make Believe, His Brilliant And Eagerly Awaited Follow Up To His Powerful And Lyrical A Language Older Than Words What Begins As An Exploration Of The Lines Of Thought And Experience That Run Between The Massive Lynchings In Early Twentieth Century America To Today S Death Squads In South America Soon Explodes Into An Examination Of The Very Heart Of Our Civilization The Culture Of Make Believe Is A Book That Is As Impeccably Researched As It Is Moving, With Conclusions As Far Reaching As They Are Shocking

10 thoughts on “The Culture of Make Believe

  1. says:

    The absolute best writer at telling you how fucked up everything is, but making you feel ok about it Not in a well, there s no point, so why bother, kind of way, but rather in a shit, that makes so much sense, I don t feel overwhelmed any, so I m gonna go out and kick some ass in a positive way, kind of way Everything I ve read of his is brutally honest, and amazing.

  2. says:

    We have been trained to see the KKK as a strange fluke run by a group of uneducated lunatics, the Holocaust as an awful but isolated incident run by a charismatic lunatic, but to not see the many current and invisible atrocities We have been trained to ask why certain people commit certain hateful acts, but never to ask what kind of culture forms these people, and this hate, in the first place We definitely do not ask if the culture that our ways of life are intricately, but abstractly, based on is not just the opportunity for, but the cause of this intricate and abstract hate The mythology runs deep, and Jensen digs into it lucidly, and with a huge amount of research The accounts of horrors are only bearable to hear as he examines the psychology of them, and shows how they re surprisingly interrelated and relevant.

  3. says:

    I may regret thisI didn t quite regret this The stated purpose, or one of them anyway, is to examine privilege and the effects of privilege on the privileged And Jensen has most of the privilege a person can have He s male socilaized identified, he s straight, he s a US citizen, his family is upper middle class, he s educated, he s white, he owns property He spends pages and pages, 605 to be exact talking about the history of genocide and destruction that comes out of the US and its parenting dominant cultures So he talks, for example, a lot about chattel slavery in the US And he talks a lot about rape that is generally of women by men by the way Throughout the book he also conducts a number of interviews More than half are with men And while the average duration of the interviews with men is about 8 pages, the average interveiw with women is less than two pages Conversations with women average about 2 3 topics while conversations with men average like 9 Of the conversations he has with women, than half of them go unnamed, the opposite being true for the men and all but one of the men have some sort of credentials attributed to them, while than half of the women are identified as his friends only as in identified in relation to Jensen, not in relation to themselves What is my point Jensen rarely identifies people by race and I think is on top of it enough not to have a lack of description mean white so I couldn t do a similar comparison along racial lines Oh, yeah, about a quarter of the converstions with women are either only about Jensen or in which Jensen does most of the talking Only one of the than 30 conversations with men happens in this way and this man is identified as a Black man, no name given.The point is that Jensen talks an awful lot about people who are murdered, enslaved, raped, relocated and otherwise terrorized in part so that some of us might maintain a level of privilege But he doesn t do much talking to those people, or people who live with that reality So essentially he spends about 600 pages using our struggles I say our because I and Jensen refer to anyone who has less privilege than Jensen, which is quite a few people and includes people with still quite a lot of privilege for his own arguments but not seeking to understand them as they affect us, but rather as they affect him How typical of someone with his privilege.There are other points in this book in which Jensen misses glaring problems of privilege that help him to remain an oppressor These two are my favorites, in the sense that they most angered me He relays an army someoneorother talking about why gay folks can t be in the military, which is because what would happen if a private fucked a captain This statement made by a man about men hleps him to understand, finally, what some feminists have been saying about the condition of women like MacKinnon, man fucks woman subect verb object He metions nothing of the fact that a man had to be talking about men for him to listen and be able to hear what some women have been saying for a long time The second is that he relays an antagonistic conversation he had with a man on a bus, and then afterwards sees for moments a Black woman on a balcony and makes all sorts of stereotypical assumptions about her Like that she is unemployed with drug addicted BROTHERS who are in jail and that she has been raped multiple All of this on his perception of her gender and race Which he does call himself out on the stereotype not the you can t make assumptions about peoples race gender stuff, come on, this is Derrick Jensen and then proceeds to talk about how this doesn t matter because he knows this woman and her BROTHERS and how she has responded to her rapes and that she is the same as every other person this kind of thing has happened to and so are her brothers Then he talks to a female friend who asks him what he would say to the man on the bus and Jensen immediately says that he would ASK him like three different questions about his experiences and fears When the friend asks what he would say to the woman he immediately says that he would TELL her that it doesn t have to be like this, of course still assuming her experience and also that she needs to be told anything by him.I think that if taken as a history book there is quite a lot of vaule in this work I did learn from it, in the historical sense The only value that I see in this book is as a work of history, and as that it is well researched and chronologically ordered, which always helps.As political theory or helpful in terms of talking about privilege, I think that if people read this who have similar levels of privilege to Jensen and stop here, they are in trouble Jensen spends, to my mind too much time equating oppressions I think talking about oppression as a system is really helpful in terms of who to target and knowing how to fight I think that talking about the oppressed and our reactions to our oppression as if we had finite possibilities for feelings as part of a system is dehumanizing, invalidating and oppressive And I think that Jensen does this repeatedly.The book doesn t end with much in terms of inspiration Some writers can spend most of their time talking about the terrible things that have happened and continue to happen in the name of profit and they also talk about resistance in a way that is inspiring and leaves one with hope and energy and new ideas Jensen for me is not among them After 600 pages of harms and atrocities committed against me and many many others I felt used, retraumatized as could be expected when the bad things that have happened to you are only used to make a fucking point, and hopeless.Mostly I gave it than one star because of the solid historical research, although I really prefer footnotes to unmarked endnotes.

  4. says:

    Wow, one of the intense books I have ever read If you re prone to depression, I recommend taking this one in very small amounts, maybe a chapter a week I read the whole thing in about a week and spent the last few days in a very pessimistic fog about our prospect as a species Jensen has the strangest way with words when describing some of the most horrific historical events imagineable He is eloquent and forceful without being too in your face He does come off as a little arrogant at times, but I think anyone who is convinced that their radical and under represented opinion is correct would do the same.Ultimately, he takes thoughts and ideas that I have vaguely floating around in my head and organizes them elegantly into strong arguments His treatment of the subject is a little diffuse he starts out on a quest to define hatred and never really arrives at a concrete definition, but the journey is fascinating nonetheless It normally bothers me quite a bit when an author offers all critique without any sort of feasible solutions, but here it seems appropriate Jensen honestly doesn t think there is hope for our civilization, and for him, the faster we help destroy it, the better I look forward to reading the two Endgame volumes Endgame, Vol 1 The Problem of Civilization and Endgame, Vol 2 Resistance update see my reviews here and here , hopefully for ideas on what I can do to help But I m going to take a Jensen free sabbatical for a couple weeks at least, until I can build up enough optimism to have it once rudely ripped away in a good way or less.Not Bad Reviews blakerosser1

  5. says:

    This is an extremely difficult book to read It is an academic critique of human civilization It begins by trying to define a hate group, and moves on to show how our government would have to be included in any adequate definition That s the beginning The rest of the book is a litany of stories which come together to make the extremely strong case that our entire civilization is founded upon violence, hatred, and destruction The problems with civilization, to Jensen, are not solvable through programmatic changes and reforms because the problems are a part of the fabric of civilization itself He, therefore, argues that we should get rid of civilization As to whether I agree or disagree with his point of view, I m not sure He s been called a terrorist he advocates the blowing up of dams and the undertaking of other activities to destabilize and bring down civilization , and I wouldn t be at all surprised if he were declared an enemy combatant at some point in the future But his arguments seem to be on sound footing They certainly can t be dismissed out of hand Right or wrong, I think his ideas are worth discussion.

  6. says:

    This book left me sad and hopeful and rethinking everything I thought I knew about Western culture.And I consider myself a tremendous skeptic, especially about this country we call America.But Jensen interweaves economics, religion, history, media just to name a few and shows why the way we live now as civilized Americans, or Westerners is, not to put too fine a point on it, destructive.Destructive to our humanity Destructive to other cultures and races and people Destructive to the planet.I think the main thing Jensen, whose research is amazing and who writes movingly and absorbingly, has accomplished here is not simply to point out destructive periods in American and or Western history but to convincingly show that this destructiveness extends from a system a rational, though manifestly stupid and immoral system ruled by people who value economics and efficiency and power and utilitarian goals and objects and consumption who value civilization as we know it and have experienced it thus far above the natural world and the animals and plants and trees in it, above human beings, above subjectiveness, above the particular.This system and its rulers not to mention some of its subjects who, though they are slaves to the system, also benefit just enough from it not to go around questioning it value these things at all costs They re not giving it up They re not giving it a second thought In fact, they ll kill to defend it.The first thing Jensen suggests we who are willing do is to speak out about it If, as he writes, the first rule of the dysfunctional family is Don t talk about it, then the first rule of stopping the destruction is Do Do talk about it Don t let assumptions go unquestioned Then, once you ve started talking, start acting.I will speak and act and think and perceive differently because of this book Unforgettable.

  7. says:

    Very interesting and eye opening Imperialism isn t dead it just goes by a different name This book may have made me an anarchist

  8. says:

    It is somewhat ironic that I finished reading this book a couple days ago in a title company waiting room waiting patiently to be called back to a professional looking office where my wife and I would then proceed to sign and initial a stack of paperwork so thick that the title company s custom manilla folder could barely contain it Through this exercise of initials and signatures I further ensnared myself into the intricate web of money, credit, mortgages, property ownership, etc that hangs thick and heavy over every aspect of being a worthwhile human being and a contributing member of society It was smiles and handshakes all around after the closing process was complete and I received the keys to my new home My mind was elsewhere though still conversing internally with the words on the pages of this book I don t even really know where to begin with why I loved this book so much, but I feel as if it is a part of me now, and in a world where I continue to feel and alienated by my concerns, ideas, and philosophies about life and what ought to be in this world, it is comforting to know that I am not alone, and that there are other sane human beings out there that are genuinely trying to be than tiny cogs in the profit generating machine that will eventually disfigure this planet into a place that is no longer capable of sustaining any sort of beautiful life.

  9. says:

    Down with the patriarchy Down with the matriarchy Down with well, whaddya got So much of this is brilliantly written, and there s so much that I agree with that I was certain I would end up rating it five stars, end of story It begins as a study of hatred, as it relates to slavery, lynching, holocausts, extinctions and other atrocities Eventually the core thesis emerges our acquisitive, consumptive destructive civilization is the problem, along with our refusal to even acknowledge the crimes that it leads to There s a biblical allusion he revisits repeatedly, that of Noah cursing his son Ham for looking upon Noah s nakedness, when his other two sons shuffled backwards, didn t look, and covered their drunken father up Nothing to see here Many of the chapters revolve around conversations he had with other intellectuals, which reminded me, in a positive way, of Richard Linklater s movie Waking Life.So, what s my problem Well my interest was stretched a little thin during some of the later chapters, like the one devoted to the Bhopal disaster It seemed as though he d already made his point but had to pile on evidence There s only so much preaching to the choir I can take This relates to the other unfortunate, inevitable aspect which isn t Derrick Jensen s fault at all most of the people who read this will already be on his side The people who need to read it probably won t, and those who do will likely hold to their misplaced faith in civilization, due to something tragic known as sticky theory when confronted with evidence to the contrary, humans tend to cling even tightly to whatever bullshit they believed in the first place.My other reaction has to do with the conclusion Jensen reaches, and the necessary balancing act it requires through the whole book Despite all the cited examples of human atrocities, he still exhibits a desire to save the human race, mostly by a return to anarchy, by the destruction of modern science and technology, by the cessation of international trade, et cetera He also reflects a deep consideration for non human persons meaning animals, and even trees Other life forms The problem is, he doesn t seem to realize, let alone consider, the moral dimension inherent in the choice to continue as a species Forget about the curse that is consciousness parent of all horrors, to borrow Thomas Ligotti s phrase , if we looked at it from a purely environmentalist perspective, nothing could be better for the global ecosystem than our voluntary extinction This speaks to the double think, also known as hypocrisy, which I find in most animal rights vegans or environmentalists They want to reduce their carbon footprint, want to reduce or eliminate the suffering of other animals, and yet most think it s perfectly alright to produce a descendant or several, who ll likely produce still descendants the tip of a carbon iceberg How do you know your grandchildren won t be raging carnivores, hunters, slaughterhouse workers Why not prevent all that consumption and destruction altogether, as well as the useless suffering and inevitable deaths those human beings will have to anticipate and endure Think about it.In other news, how much of an asshole is Madeleine Albright There s a special place in hell for women who don t help other women Quoted in this book, paraphrased 500,000 Iraqi children killed by our sanctions We think the price is worth it Paraphrased Yes, I killed a Serbian drifter in 1992, but so what He had it coming Okay, one of those might not be true, but I m not saying which.

  10. says:

    Derrick Jensen teaches creative writing in a maximum security prison, and supplements his income by writing 700 page tomes filled with rants about the evils of industrial capitalism, which breeds hatred, oppression, materialism and environmental destruction Of course it was the capitalists who built Kombinat Mayak, and it was the capitalists who set up a factory producing handbags and gloves from the skin of the Yangtze River dolphin during the Great Leap Forward I don t want to believe that all environmentalists are ignorant ideologues, which is why I checked out this book from the library, yet I also don t want to read a book if I only have an entomologist s interest in its author, which is why I didn t finish it.