Econvergence Panel Discussion

When I walked into the Derrick Jensen talk at the Econvergence this year, one of the organizers asked me to sit on a panel the next day at PSU for the Econvergence discussion on “Radical Sustainability”. It seems that another speaker who was to talk about primitivism didn’t work out and they needed someone. Of course, I engage in rewilding, not primitivism and I don’t consider primitivism and rewilding to be synonyms for each other, since rewilding is a much more modern, better understood and culturally sensitive approach to indigenous living. Therefore, I don’t consider myself a primitivist. However, they knew of my differences and we’re still enthusiastic about having me aboard to talk about rewilding, so I said yes.

Since Derrick had spoken the night before, lots of people were enthusiastic about things. There were about 60 people there. Most of the people who spoke up were challenging the anti-civilization paradigm (or more accurately not f@#king getting it!). I had a few friends who were very disappointed with the people in the room, and left feeling bummed out.

But from my vantage point I could see that most of the people in the room (by the faces they made and shaking of heads) did not agree with most of the pacifist people who did most of the talking. So it looked to me like most of the people in the room were anti-civ in some sense. I left feeling rather invigorated at that thought. There were a few really great things that people said as well. I wish I had more time to reply to a lot of the people, but being a white male sitting on a panel with two women and one of them Native American, I was being conscious to keep my mouth shut and not dominate the discussions. But god I wanted to soooo bad! Especially when that one guy called Derrick Jensen “a great divider”. Good grief!

The other panelists were Alec Keefer, Frodo Okulam and Judy Bluehorse Skeleton. I filmed it and here is most of it, but my camera died towards the end so it just kind of cuts off. The sound quality is crappy too. My apologies! Oh and FYI: it’s like an hour and a half or 2 hours long.

[vimeo 7039011]

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6 Comments on “Econvergence Panel Discussion”

  1. I thought the discussion was pretty frustrating! It was nice that a lot of us were still fired up from the Derrick Jensen talk the night before, but the pacifists killed it pretty quickly. I wish people would understand the simple fact that the planet is being KILLED and sometimes desperate situations require desperate measures.

    I am curious though, if people are claiming that Zerzan simply never showed up for the panel, as your friend in her blog suggests, why were you asked the night before to be on the panel? It seems bogus to claim that he simply never showed up when they somehow knew the night before he wouldn’t show up. This whole Zerzan/Jensen drama really is pretty silly in my eyes. Not trying to start shit, just saying…

    Anyways, overall I enjoyed your part on rewilding as well as what Alec Keefer was saying. Some pretty important stuff. You simply cannot “green” civilization!

  2. I am really happy to have just discovered Urban Scout.
    I hope to soon move my family from a suburban farm and into the woods, but its not easy. Some of the obstacles are skills, some are psychological blocks. We are more likely to make the leap if we believe that we are ultimately safer and happier without the mortgage and the grocery store. But its not an easy sell, even for me, who always liked to “play indian.” Maybe your book will help me understand the politics and philosophy.
    Best wishes for you doing your thing.
    — Anna in WA 🙂