Sloth or Paralyzation?

Spring is in the air.  Many people have been talking about some exciting new developments concerning the occupy movement happening this spring.  It might just be talk, but I kind of get the feeling that most occupiers are more doers and less talkers.  So my fingers are crossed that cooler heads will prevail and the craziness, abuses of power, and occupy suppression will cease.  This includes the negative opinions toward non-violence that many Oakland occupiers hold.  Non-violence is our greatest strength because it has the numbers.  Those of you who want to fight are in the minority of the town.  Please police yourselves.

Regardless of what happens – and I get the feeling that something serious is around the corner – the winds of revolution have blown from Syria to China (here’s a recent story about more Tibetan monk self-immolations: and now they’re on the way to California.

Laziness abounds in our culture.  But the most profound form of laziness is our collective inaction concerning climate change.  I simply don’t understand how we as a human species can continue our lifestyles as polluters and consumers.  I rest assured that something will give soon.  The system will self-correct.  It always does, it’s just a question of when? and how severe?

Maybe I’m just impatient, but I wish that more people would have acted more dramatically and sooner.  And now I get the feeling that many of us that are taking the road of protest have acted too little too late.  But as the saying goes ” better late than never.”

So what is it that has hand-cuffed humanity?  Why haven’t we taken more significant steps to meaningfully address environmental destruction and climate change?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased that there is at least a little more momentum.  I just heard that the buffalo population in Montana is becoming larger due to the righteous work of Native people to protect the herd.  But that is such a small victory compared to deforestation, desertification, and any other ecological horror that you care to imagine.  I’d prefer not to.

Is it just plain old sloth?  Maybe.  It seems like it could be some combination of intellectual laziness, moral ignorance, and technological dependence.  Does civilization hold such an oppressive grip on our individual and collective psyches?  Can’t we collectively break free?  There are plenty of people that are already ready to be free, but freedom only works if we all participate.  So it is most certainly a leap of faith.  Faith is hard work and that is in direct contradiction to sloth.

Or maybe it’s paralyzation by fear.  Clearly, radical environmental activism is not a cultural norm.  So many activists are perceived as weird and abnormal.  Thankfully, many people in our culture find weird and abnormal behavior attractive and necessary.  And others simply see a bunch of unrefined tackiness…  But the one thing anybody can see about activists is that we are not afraid.  We act out of love with a hunger for truth and justice.  And we know that the true terrorism in this country is monopolized by the fascicts that hold power in our corporatocracy.

But that’s one of the things that scares me.  While I am a protestor myself, and will continue to protest until I see the kind of change the world needs – I’m also frightened by the recklessness and fearlessness of many other people in the movement.  I’m certain there are people out there that are ready to erupt.  My prayer is for cooler heads when it comes to violence.


I’m quite willing to talk and write intentionally about a possible war against the machine.  I recognize and appreciate the hypocrisy of this statement since I’m using a machine to write and access the internet.  Technology is such an awesomely awful power that it needs some severe resistance.  Hypocrisy is everywhere in our culture and until people can hold one another to a higher standard it will continue to become a norm.  Our technological culture enables hypocrisy.

So why should we act swiftly to begin checking the strength of industrial, technological civilization?  Because it is unsustainable.  Because it is destroying the natural world.  Because it is creating a culture of laziness, isolation, despair and insanity.  That is enough reason for me.

C’mon people – do something.



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