The Culture of Make Believe

The Culture of Make Believe Derrick Jensen takes no prisoners in The Culture of Make Believe his brilliant and eagerly awaited follow up to his powerful and lyrical A Language Older Than Words What begins as an exploration of t

  • Title: The Culture of Make Believe
  • Author: Derrick Jensen
  • ISBN: 9781931498579
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Paperback
  • Derrick Jensen takes no prisoners in The Culture of Make Believe, his brilliant and eagerly awaited follow up to his powerful and lyrical A Language Older Than Words What begins as an exploration of the lines of thought and experience that run between the massive lynchings in early twentieth century America to today s death squads in South America soon explodes into an exDerrick Jensen takes no prisoners in The Culture of Make Believe, his brilliant and eagerly awaited follow up to his powerful and lyrical A Language Older Than Words What begins as an exploration of the lines of thought and experience that run between the massive lynchings in early twentieth century America to today s death squads in South America soon explodes into an examination of the very heart of our civilization The Culture of Make Believe is a book that is as impeccably researched as it is moving, with conclusions as far reaching as they are shocking.

    • The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen
      410 Derrick Jensen
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      Posted by:Derrick Jensen
      Published :2019-09-05T00:11:50+00:00

    About “Derrick Jensen

    • Derrick Jensen

      Derrick Jensen is an American author and environmental activist living in Crescent City, California He has published several books questioning and critiquing contemporary society and its values, including A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, and Endgame He holds a B.S in Mineral Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University He has also taught creative writing at Pelican Bay State Prison and Eastern Washington University.

    837 thoughts on “The Culture of Make Believe

    • The absolute best writer at telling you how fucked up everything is, but making you feel ok about it. Not in a "well, there's no point, so why bother," kind of way, but rather in a "shit, that makes so much sense, I don't feel overwhelmed anymore, so I'm gonna go out and kick some ass in a positive way," kind of way. Everything I've read of his is brutally honest, and amazing.

    • We have been trained to see the KKK as a strange fluke run by a group of uneducated lunatics, "the" Holocaust as an awful but isolated incident run by a charismatic lunatic, but to not see the many current and invisible atrocities. We have been trained to ask why certain people commit certain hateful acts, but never to ask what kind of culture forms these people, and this hate, in the first place. We definitely do not ask if the culture that our ways of life are intricately, but abstractly, base [...]

    • I may regret thisI didn´t quite regret this. The stated purpose, or one of them anyway, is to examine privilege and the effects of privilege on the privileged. And Jensen has most of the privilege a person can have. He´s male socilaized/identified, he´s straight, he´s a US citizen, his family is upper middle class, he´s educated, he´s white, he owns property. He spends pages and pages, 605 to be exact talking about the history of genocide and destruction that comes out of the US and its pa [...]

    • Wow, one of the more intense books I have ever read. If you're prone to depression, I recommend taking this one in very small amounts, maybe a chapter a week. I read the whole thing in about a week and spent the last few days in a very pessimistic fog about our prospect as a species. Jensen has the strangest way with words when describing some of the most horrific historical events imagineable. He is eloquent and forceful without being too in-your-face. He does come off as a little arrogant at t [...]

    • This is an extremely difficult book to read. It is an academic critique of human civilization. It begins by trying to define a hate group, and moves on to show how our government would have to be included in any adequate definition. That's the beginning. The rest of the book is a litany of stories which come together to make the extremely strong case that our entire civilization is founded upon violence, hatred, and destruction. The problems with civilization, to Jensen, are not solvable through [...]

    • This book left me sad and hopeful and rethinking everything I thought I knew about Western culture.And I consider myself a tremendous skeptic, especially about this country we call America.But Jensen interweaves economics, religion, history, media (just to name a few) and shows why the way we live now - as "civilized" Americans, or Westerners - is, not to put too fine a point on it, destructive.Destructive to our humanity. Destructive to other cultures and races and people. Destructive to the pl [...]

    • Very interesting and eye opening. Imperialism isn't dead it just goes by a different name. This book may have made me an anarchist

    • Down with the patriarchy! Down with the matriarchy! Down with well, whaddya got?So much of this is brilliantly written, and there's so much that I agree with that I was certain I would end up rating it five stars, end of story. It begins as a study of hatred, as it relates to slavery, lynching, holocausts, extinctions and other atrocities. Eventually the core thesis emerges: our acquisitive, consumptive-destructive civilization is the problem, along with our refusal to even acknowledge the crime [...]

    • It is somewhat ironic that I finished reading this book a couple days ago in a title company waiting room - waiting patiently to be called back to a more professional looking office where my wife and I would then proceed to sign and initial a stack of paperwork so thick that the title company's custom manilla folder could barely contain it. Through this exercise of initials and signatures I further ensnared myself into the intricate web of money, credit, mortgages, property ownership, etc. that [...]

    • Jensen catalogs atrocities. Done by corporations, nations and individuals. Though divided into chapters, the substance of the book meanders through the same general theme. We are destroying what sustains us and that is madness. Mixing personal anecdotes and impressive research, Jensen’s book is part call-to- action and part self-discovery. He analyzes himself, and others, in the hope of seeing the deeply rooted “transparent bonds” which cause us to act in self-destructive ways.I’m not su [...]

    • Derrick Jensen teaches creative writing in a maximum-security prison, and supplements his income by writing 700-page tomes filled with rants about the evils of industrial capitalism, which breeds hatred, oppression, materialism and environmental destruction. Of course it was the capitalists who built Kombinat Mayak, and it was the capitalists who set up a factory producing handbags and gloves from the skin of the Yangtze River dolphin during the Great Leap Forward. I don't want to believe that a [...]

    • Someone suggested I read this book about three years ago, but I have to say I probably wasn't ready for it until this year. It was amazing, well-written, seriously challenged my view of the status quo and my "place" in it and reopened my curiosity about "truth" and how we come by that. I would suggest reading "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn first, because if the average person ran right into this book I don't think they'd be prepared to accept it. An overview of US and g [...]

    • Although Jensen's stream-of-consciousness writing is sometimes hard to follow, his indictment of cultures of violence and domination are extremely compelling. His writing is refreshingly non-academic, yet clearly thoroughly researched and very thoughtful. I still think that "A Language Older Than Words" is his best, but this is a good second.

    • Derrick Jensen finds the furthest, darkest reaches of the human death culture called civilization. He is plain spoken, even as he explores the history, causes, and largely unspoken, unacknowledged- or hidden in plain sight- rules which perpetuate violence against human beings and the land that we live on. Jensen's ideas can seriously rattle one's cage- even if they are not entirely unfamiliar- and yet reassure at the same time. For me, the reassurance comes in hearing these ideas spoken out loud [...]

    • The number topics covered in this book are vast. Derrick Jensen has wounded my soul with his words. But no, that's not really correct. He has only informed me of the sinister forces at work behind the scenes in modern society and the sinister psychology which fuels it.No one in particular is responsible for the direction we have taken and yet the very few benefit while the vast majority suffer. It's remarkable how I have had an intuitive sense about many of these issues ever since I was a child, [...]

    • Oh man, what can I not say about this book. First checked out from the Portland Library in 2006, the winter of the year I moved, sat around after work in my big empty room in the dead of winter, wet and rainy, getting stoned and reading it, or sometimes walking to the coffee shop in the Rose garden after work and reading it. Reread in 2010, rereading it again now 2015. One of the best analysis of euro-american culture ever written in terms of being honest and truthful about the shitty, brutal ug [...]

    • Oh Christ the things we do to each other, and the excuses we tell ourselves to make each and every atrocity seem ok! I honestly didn't know about the Bhopal disaster in India in the early 80's; look it up on Google images and ruin your day.Derrick Jensen uses a LOT of words with himself and through interviews with others about our human condition and how we're all jerks with sick violent tendencies. If you are looking for an uplifting ending where an author takes the beginning of the book with a [...]

    • I dog-eared many pages to reference for this review, but I am not going to use any of them. Jensen explains and reiterates often throughout the book that we have progressed through various genocides and holocausts until we are now at a point in history with the most efficient and rational systems of killing and destruction (based on how capital and production work to take, consume and discard--on to the next resource to exploit, whether that be oil, trees, people, etc). The way our current syste [...]

    • 43 (I believe it was upton Sinclair who stated, "it's difficult to get man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it")62 the citizens of Mohenjo-Daro obeyed not because they were inferior but because they would starve if they did not.63 The difficulty comes--and here is the real beauty of the story of Noah and his sons--when, like Ham (or at least my vision of Ham), you find your way through these shifts in perception and see the patriarch naked and vulnerable. [...]

    • I'm abandoning this book not because of its writing style or that I disagree with his major points (with some minor points though.) It is just that after November 8th 2016 I feel everyone who has eyes has already got a master class on what Jensen is critiquing. In an alternate reality, I would rather have had a wry shake of my head as I read the chapters, knowing that I was still safe and above all the crap. But the crap is here, has always been here and it's our own crap blinders that prevented [...]

    • Jensen wants to understand what hate is and he starts with a look at racial hatred by examining slavery. Along the way, he wonders at why crimes against women aren't considered hate crimes, wonders if our civilization's assault on nature is about hate, and general delves into a hundred different interesting. provocative things. Hell, read the book I don't got all day to tell ya.

    • Warning: This isn't so much a review as a list of random things I'd like to remember about the book. just doesn't give enough characters in the "Private Notes" section! Why, , why?This book was long, too long and winding but there was much that i want to remember: 1. comparing 19th-century rationales for slavery to modern-day arguments for world trade/free markets2. the chapter on native american removal, genocide3. western civilization as "conquest abroad and repression at home"4. the role of [...]

    • Generally, The Culture of Make Believe is a meticulously researched and compelling historical, cultural expose. It’s an overwhelming and heavy read, but I never felt bogged down. It unburies historical and recent atrocities, takes our structures of power to task, considers the economics at play behind so many actions of hatred, and explores the reasons that we have been blind to so many of these tragedies. It also patiently explains how we might change our way of thinking to not miss the warni [...]

    • I held out a long time before I read any Derrick Jensen. In my mind Derrick Jensen was to primitivists what Crimethinc was to young train hopping punks. I heard dogmatic and judgmental opinions from people who repeatedly sited Derrick Jensen.However, I decided to give "The Culture of Make Believe" a chance when my friend Juli, told me she was reading it and it actually contained highly researched and indepth analysis about the interconnectedness of oppressions. "The Culture of Make Believe" is a [...]

    • Well, if you recall from my review of "A Language Older Than Words", I had some issues with Jensen's writing, from a stylistic, and sometimes technical standpoint. I'm pleased to report that he got better by the time he wrote "Culture", and that his abilities as a speaker in a live setting are in fact matched by his skill as a writer. After having read this, and having started "Endgame", I realize now that most of his talk that I heard in April was drawn from his books, which shouldn't be surpri [...]

    • Overall a really really good read. I'd recommend it to anyone. Everyone. The book is not without it's problems but in the end they are too minor to go into. After about halfway through the book I voiced my biggest complaint which can be read below if you really want to. Just don't let me or anyone else discourage you from reading this book if you are at all interested in it. Even the length of the book, which, because of his wandering prose, was much longer than it needed to be, still should not [...]

    • Jensen's a smart guy, sharp at pointing out and deconstructing the inhumane contradicitons of capitalism and our collective denial about same. I found particularly perceptive his idea that "hatred felt longd deeply enough no longer feels like hatred but like economics or religion or tradition." But the 700-page The Culture of Make Believe (great title) is ovelong by a couple hundred pages at least because Jensen likes to hear himself talk--he adopts a pose of curiosity that is usually just a cov [...]

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