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Throughout history, societies have existed with far less coercion than ours. While these societies have had far fewer consumer goods and less of what modernity calls “efficiency,” they also have had far less mental illness. This reality has been buried, not surprisingly, by...
Calling the natural world “it” absolves us of moral responsibility and opens the door to exploitation. Here's what we can say instead. Singing whales, talking trees, dancing bees, birds who make art, fish who navigate, plants who learn and remember. We are surrounded by...
A new photo book from conservation experts aims to shine a light on humanity's impact on the planet and convince people to think about their contribution. Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot includes photos and essays exploring man's complicated relationship with the...
Anthropology, the study of humankind, should be the first of all the sciences our children encounter, writes Marc Brightman, with its singular capacity to inspire the imagination, broaden the mind and open the heart. Moves to downgrade it in the education system by those who...
Many people have little trouble confessing to being hard on themselves, to being “my own worst critic” or to being a perfectionist. They are, after all, merely confessing to something that our culture upholds as a virtue: the struggle against the self. People are generally...
Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent...
When we talk about saving the world, what world are we talking about? Not the globe itself, obviously. But also not the biological world—the world of life. The world of life, strangely enough, is not in danger (though thousands and perhaps even millions of species are). Even...
This is an excerpt from Beyond Civilization, pages 109-118. Read more here or you can check your local bookstore to buy a print copy. People have lived many different ways on this planet, but about ten thousand years ago there appeared one people who believed everyone in the...
Every female wants to be loved by a male. Every woman wants to love and be loved by the males in her life. Whether gay or straight, bisexual or celibate, she wants to feel the love of father, grandfather, uncle, brother, or male friend.
In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to remove everybody from the face of the earth, because humans GENERATE toxic waste, whether it be...
Contrary to popular opinion, Charles Darwin did not originate the idea of evolution. By the middle of the 19th century, the mere fact of evolution had been around for a long time, and most thinkers of the time were perfectly content to leave it at that. The absence of a...
It is no secret that the Earth is in trouble and that we humans are to blame. Just knowing these grim facts, however, won’t get us very far. We have to transform this knowledge into a deep passion to change course. But passion does not come primarily from the head; it is a...
‘Think of a world without war, a world of social justice, a world of ecological sustainability.’ This is how Robin Grille starts his talk at TEDX Pittwater. Robin is a psychologist, author, educator and advocate for children who is not alone in his dream for a better world...
From the San and the Kogi: Value community and cooperation; we are part of the world, not separate from it. One of the oldest cultures on Earth is that of the !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in the northern parts of South Africa. The exclamation point in their name...
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure...
The popular expression, “there is no place like home” can echo deep within the fiber of our beings. Remembering our homes intuitively invokes a sense of place for many of us. A sense of place or rootedness can awaken feelings of comfort, love, belonging, peace and security...
They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death. After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I...
Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new. When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and...
When you’re given the opportunity to publish Ursula K. Le Guin, you leap at it—even if you’re ​ostensibly a fiction magazine and what lands on your desk is one of Le Guin’s political essays. It’s all connected, anyways. The recent ​National Book Award-winner and science...
Feedback from my lecture at the Green Party annual meeting has been trickling in, and it seems that the talk wasn’t as well-received as I thought at the time. The people who walked out in the first five minutes – maybe they didn’t have to go to the bathroom after all, as I’d...
Last weekend I decided I would get the kids outdoors for a little time in nature. The Susquehanna River was frozen over, with the most remarkable ice formations. Even though the water is not deep in this part of the river, ice somehow piled up several feet. The photograph...
From Boing Boing with meme-love. You're welcome.
BOSTON, Jul 7, 2014 —On Saturday I went to one of the massive temples across the country where we celebrate our state religion. The temple I visited was Boston’s Fenway Park. I was inspired to go by reading Andrew Bacevich’s thoughtful book “Breach of Trust: How Americans...
Martin Luther King Jr. exemplifies real bravery in "Selma." Well, you can beat on your chest / Hell, any monkey can. —Bruce Springsteen, “Real Man” In an essay on Theodore Roosevelt, Gore Vidal classified the former president and known tough guy as an “American sissy.” He...
Following the release of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper,the masses of America have been chomping at the bit to slaughter Muslims. The film, which portrays the deadliest sniper in United States history, is a hit among the sect of Americans that tends to demonize Hollywood...
“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that...
Most white Americans believe they were born white. Yet their own stories of early racial experiences describe persons who were bred white. Which is it-nature or nurture? Neither. The social process that creates whites produces persons who must think of their whiteness as a...
In his testimony before the St. Louis County Grand Jury, Darren Wilson said he felt like a five-year-old peering into the face of someone who “looks like a demon” as he wrestled with Michael Brown, the black teen he later shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri. In other...
In tribute to Charlie Hebdo, we select our favourite radical publications which challenge authority with every issue. Charlie Hebdo’s willingness to offend traces its way back to France’s radical post-war activists and intellectuals who helped ignite the student revolts...
Alan Heeks explores the pathways that can take us from the ‘old story’ of addictive materialism into a new, creative and regenerative post-industrial society. Since earliest times, people have created stories to make sense of their world. In 1978, Thomas Berry1 coined the...
When every cultural force beckons us to hate, to harden our hearts and vilify the other, we must have the courage to look, deeply, with an intention to understand. To ignore the rage of the dispossessed, to dismiss it without understanding its roots, will not bring us any...
After the Paris massacre, European governments should resist narratives of civilizational conflict and push for a ceasefire in the Syrian war. The recent attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left a dozen editors and cartoonists dead, has renewed...
More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four...
A comics report by Stephanie McMillan about two movements that converged on Washington DC, Stop the Machine and Occupy DC.
As the editor of a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine that has often articulated views that have prompted condemnation from both Right and Left, I had good reason to be scared by the murders of fellow journalists in Paris. Having won the 2014 "Magazine of the Year"...
The recent attack on the headquarters of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo was devastating, underscoring violent times under the treacherous shadow of terrorism. We must take care not to lace our grief with hate, vengeance and more violence by misconstruing our...
In less than an hour of the dreadful shooting of 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the politicians had already started to lie to their own public. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, declared that, “freedom of expression is not able to be killed by this kind of...
Yes, Charlie Hebdo was a magazine that delighted in controversy and provocation. Yes, it skewered religion and took joy in giving offense. Yes, the magazine knowingly antagonized extremists — Charlie Hebdo's web site had been hacked and its offices firebombed before today...
This morning, many sleepy, grumpy, bloated people across the country returned to their jobs for the first time since before Christmas. Some of those people in London – the country's largest hub of early morning misery – were made to stop and consider the numb feeling inside...
Have you ever encountered a baby whose gender is unknown to you? Not knowing can feel profoundly uncomfortable. We barely realize how great the differences are in how we treat male and female people, and in what we expect of them. These differences are by no means subtle...
Wherever I go and ask people what is missing from their lives, the most common answer (if they are not impoverished or seriously ill) is “community.” What happened to community, and why don’t we have it any more? There are many reasons – the layout of suburbia, the...
Dystopian narratives have long been an alluring and thought-provoking form of entertainment, especially for those who take an interest in studying social and political structures. From classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World to the current hit, The Hunger...
For white folks to claim that race should not matter is to reveal that race has never negatively impacted us. The invented supremacy of whiteness has provided us with privilege and power in politics, social institutions, and our personal and professional lives, making it a...
Rape threats are an all-too-common reality for women online. Just as often, the anonymity of the Internet makes it nearly impossible to strike back at trolls. What’s more, as is well documented, social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook have been slow, and often...
The idea of "living for the weekend​" is nothing new. The history of what we call "youth culture" is really just a history of young people being unable to reconcile their day-to-day lives with their social lives, finding solace in the tribal rites of a Saturday night and...
If you publicly dissent from and act against prevailing United States orthodoxies and the reigning US power structure, chances are good you will face personal and/or professional defamation and the charge of psychological unreliability and instability. It will be said that...
Since I began turning its pages, I assumed The Hunger Games was a rallying cry for like-minded progressives and radicals. This was thanks to its pretty upfront indictment of state-inflicted violence and, in particular, of hunger caused by gross economic inequality. Occupy...
I’m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking...
The zombie apocalypse, of course, is a metaphor. It’s an allegory for the extremely unstable world we are living in at the moment. Quite a bummer huh?  This is not about ‘real zombies’. But before you, disillusioned, leave to find some truly superficial thrill, I urge you...