Get Apocalyptic or Get Out of the Way by Robert Jensen

Subject: Ecological Crisis / Sustainability / Social Justice
Themes: Religion and Society 21st Century Environmental Issues
Age groups: High School
Resource type: Articles

The following excerpt is reprinted with permission of the author and Yes! Magazine. It appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Yes!.

Read the whole piece here.

Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical is the New Normal

by Robert Jensen

Feeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? That's hardly surprising: Life as we know it is almost over. While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial—pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss—there's a more sensible approach:

Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish—and then get apocalyptic.

We are staring down multiple cascading ecological crises, struggling with political and economic institutions that are unable even to acknowledge, let alone cope with, the threats to the human family and the larger living world. We are intensifying an assault on the ecosystems in which we live, undermining the ability of that living world to sustain a large-scale human presence into the future. When all the world darkens, looking on the bright side is not a virtue but a sign of irrationality.

In these circumstances, anxiety is rational and anguish is healthy, signs not of weakness but of courage. A deep grief over what we are losing —and have already lost, perhaps never to be recovered—is appropriate. Instead of repressing these emotions we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively, not only for our own mental health but to increase the effectiveness of the organizing for the social justice and ecological sustainability still within our grasp. Once we've sorted through those reactions, we can get apocalyptic and get down to our real work. READ MORE.