11+ quotes from The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen

Quotes from The Culture of Make Believe

Derrick Jensen ·  720 pages

Rating: (1.7K votes)


“For us to maintain our way of living, we must tell lies to each other and especially to ourselves. The lies are necessary because, without them, many deplorable acts would become impossibilities.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“One of the fables we live by is that some day the killing will stop. If only we rid ourselves of Chinese, white men will have jobs and white women will have virtue, and then we can stop killing. If only we rid ourselves of Indians, we will fulfill our Manifest Destiny, and then we can stop killing. If only we rid ourselves of Canaanites, we will live in the Promised Land, and then we can stop killing. If only we rid ourselves of Jews, we can build and maintain a Thousand Year Reich, and then we can stop killing. If only we stop the Soviet Union, we can stop the killing (remember the Peace Dividend that never materialized?). If only we can take out the worldwide terrorist network of bin Laden and others like him. If only. But the killing never stops. Always a new enemy to be hated is found.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“I am in this same river. I can't much help it. I admit it: I'm racist. The other night I saw a group (or maybe a pack?) or white teenagers standing in a vacant lot, clustered around a 4x4, and I crossed the street to avoid them; had they been black, I probably would have taken another street entirely. And I'm misogynistic. I admit that, too. I'm a shitty cook, and a worse house cleaner, probably in great measure because I've internalized the notion that these are woman's work. Of course, I never admit that's why I don't do them: I always say I just don't much enjoy those activities (which is true enough; and it's true enough also that many women don't enjoy them either), and in any case, I've got better things to do, like write books and teach classes where I feel morally superior to pimps. And naturally I value money over life. Why else would I own a computer with a hard drive put together in Thailand by women dying of job-induced cancer? Why else would I own shirts mad in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, and shoes put together in Mexico? The truth is that, although many of my best friends are people of color (as the cliche goes), and other of my best friends are women, I am part of this river: I benefit from the exploitation of others, and I do not much want to sacrifice this privilege. I am, after all, civilized, and have gained a taste for "comforts and elegancies" which can be gained only through the coercion of slavery. The truth is that like most others who benefit from this deep and broad river, I would probably rather die (and maybe even kill, or better, have someone kill for me) than trade places with the men, women, and children who made my computer, my shirt, my shoes.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“We have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“We were not meant for this. We were meant to live and love and play and work and even hate more simply and directly. It is only through outrageous violence that we come to see this absurdity as normal, or to not see it at all. Each new child has his eyes torn out so he will not see, his ears removed so he will not hear, his tongue ripped out so he will not speak, his mind juiced so he will not think, and his nerves scraped so he will not feel. Then he is released into a world broken in two: others, like himself, and those to be used. He will never realize that he still has all of his senses, if only he will use them. If you mention to him that he still has ears, he will not hear you. If he hears, he will not think. Perhaps most dangerously of all, if he thinks he will not feel. And so on, again.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“If we hope to stem the mass destruction that inevitably attends our economic system (and to alter the sense of entitlement - the sense of contempt, the hatred - on which it is based), fundamental historical, social, economic, and technological forces need to be pondered, understood, and redirected. Behavior won't change much without a fundamental change in consciousness. The question becomes: How do we change consciousness?”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“Learning has to come from doing, not intellectualizing.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“I have heard people suggest that because humans are natural that everything humans do or create is natural. Chainsaws are natural. Nuclear bombs are natural. Our economics is natural. Sex slavery is natural. Asphalt is natural. Cars are natural. Polluted water is natural. A devastated world is natural. A devasted phyche is natural. Unbridled exploitation is natural. Pure objectification is natural. This is, of course, nonsense. We are embedded in the natural world. We evolved as social creatures in this natural world. We require clean water to drink, or we die. We require clean air to breathe, or we die. We require food, or we die. We require love, affection, social contact in order to become our full selves. It is part of our evolutionary legacy as social creatures. Anything that helps us to understand all of this is natural: Any ritual, artifact, process, action is natural, to the degree that it reinforces our understanding of our embeddedness in the natural world, and any ritual, artifact, process, action is unnatural, to the degree that it does not”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“This is the key to understanding the difference between indigenous and civilized warfare: Even in warfare the indigenous maintain relationships with their honored enemy. This is the key to understanding the difference between indigenous and civilized ways of living. This is only one of many things those we enslave could tell us, if only we asked: They, too, are alive, and present another way of living, a way of living that is not - in contradistinction to our God and our Science and our Capitalism and everything else in our lives - jealous. It is an inclusive way of living. They could tell us that things don't have to be the way they are.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“Let's be honest. The activities of our economic and social system are killing the planet. Even if we confine ourselves merely to humans, these activities are causing an unprecedented privation, as hundreds of millions of people-and today more than yesterday, with probably more tomorrow-go their entire lives with never enough to eat. Yet curiously, none of this seems to stir us to significant action. And when someone does too stridently point out these obvious injustices, the response by the mass of the people seems so often to be . . . a figurative if not physical blow to the gut, leading inevitably to a destruction of our common future. Witness the enthusiasm with which those native nations that resisted their conquest by our culture have been subdued, and the eagerness with which this same end is today brought to those-native or not-who continue to resist too strongly. How does this come to happen, in both personal and social ways?”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


“The fundamental metaphor of National Socialism as it related to the world around it was the garden, not the wild forest. One of the most important Nazi ideologists, R.W. Darré, made clear the relationship between gardening and genocide: “He who leaves the plants in a garden to themselves will soon find to his surprise that the garden is overgrown by weeds and that even the basic character of the plants has changed. If therefore the garden is to remain the breeding ground for the plants, if, in other words, it is to lift itself above the harsh rule of natural forces, then the forming will of a gardener is necessary, a gardener who, by providing suitable conditions for growing, or by keeping harmful influences away, or by both together, carefully tends what needs tending and ruthlessly eliminates the weeds which would deprive the better plants of nutrition, air, light, and sun. . . . Thus we are facing the realization that questions of breeding are not trivial for political thought, but that they have to be at the center of all considerations, and that their answers must follow from the spiritual, from the ideological attitude of a people. We must even assert that a people can only reach spiritual and moral equilibrium if a well-conceived breeding plan stands at the very center of its culture.”
― Derrick Jensen, quote from The Culture of Make Believe


About the author

Derrick Jensen
Born place: in The United States
Born date December 19, 1960
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“Eliminating the toxicity in your life is not a failure. It's curative and courageous and never, ever easy.”
― Pam Godwin, quote from Vanquish


“If you were not sleeping in history class you would have heard of the Great Battle of Buxar in 1764. Frankly, it should be renamed the Embarrassing Battle of Buxar. The battle was fought between the British East India Company and the combined armies of three Indian rulers—Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh; and the Mughal king, Shah Alam II. The Indian side had forty thousand troops. The British had less than ten thousand. Guess what happened? The British clobbered us. How? Well, the three Indian kings ended up fighting with each other. Each Indian king had cut a side deal with the British and worked against the other. In a day, the British had won the battle and taken control of most of India. I don’t think Indians have learnt much since that day. We remain as divided as ever. Everyone still tries to cut a deal for themselves while the nation goes to hell.”
― Chetan Bhagat, quote from Half Girlfriend


“Love and hate crashing together in a never-ending battle that I fought within myself.”
― Portia Moore, quote from If I Break


“What does a victorious or defeated black woman’s body in a historically white space look like? Serena and her big sister Venus Williams brought to mind Zora Neale Hurston’s “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” This appropriated line, stenciled on canvas by Glenn Ligon, who used plastic letter stencils, smudging oil sticks, and graphite to transform the words into abstractions, seemed to be ad copy for some aspect of life for all black bodies.”
― Claudia Rankine, quote from Citizen: An American Lyric


“Because many of the people who were taken by the wasting disease happened to be white, God was not a viable culprit.”
― quote from Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements


Interesting books

#Nerd
(14.5K)
#Nerd
by Cambria Hebert
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
(35.6K)
You're Never Weird o...
by Felicia Day
The Oaken Throne
(427)
The Oaken Throne
by Robin Jarvis
The Angel of the West Window
(440)
The Angel of the Wes...
by Gustav Meyrink
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide
(247.6K)
The Ultimate Hitchhi...
by Douglas Adams
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
(6.4K)
Peopleware: Producti...
by Tom DeMarco

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.