Why I Like Derrick Jensen

When people find out that I’ve interviewed Derrick Jensen, I get a lot of different responses. From the anarchist scene, most of these are negative. “Oh, he’s not really an anarchist.” Well, I’ve talked to him at length about how he politically identifies in relation to anarchism, and published the results in Mythmakers. My new favorite now is “I heard he drives a hummer.” Which is about as ludicrous as it gets. Or that’s he’s like, super wealthy. Let me let you in on a little secret: being a respected author in a niche does not make you wealthy. He drives a pickup truck and lives outside a non-wealthy city. He’s also amazingly down-to-earth and friendly and—this is what he gets in trouble for, by and large—honest. He’ll actually tell you what he thinks of various things.

Do I agree with all of his politics? No. I agree with 90% of his analysis of problems and only maybe 20-30% of his suggested solutions. For one thing, I think that we could have a sustainable society with a degree of technology.

One thing about fame: lots and lots of people talk about Derrick Jensen as though they know him. When they say “I hate Derrick Jensen” or “I love Derrick Jensen,” they’re not really talking about a person, they’re talking about a collection of books and a perceived idea that is “Derrick Jensen.” They’re not talking about the reasonably humble man who knows that he will die if what he wants (industrial collapse) ever comes to pass.

But videos like this one above are why Derrick is so important. He’s incredibly funny and poignant and gets really radical ideas across outside of the anarchist niche.

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