DGR Workshop Statement of Purpose

We are profoundly grieved and enraged at the destruction of our planet and at all systems of human oppression. We are passionate about creating a world based on mutual aid, love, justice, and connection to the living world. We want to understand the roots of the dominant culture in order to most effectively end it.

We draw on environmentalism, feminism, deep ecology, spirituality, anarchy, indigenous lifeways, anti-oppression politics, peak oil and collapse theories, and past struggles for justice for our analysis and our inspiration. We are open to challenging our thinking and ourselves. We recognize that though the dominant culture threatens us all, it also gives privileges to some at the expense of others, and whether industrial culture continues or is stopped, the impact on people will differ.

We also embrace the full experience of beauty, magic, and love in our lives and the world in our efforts to make serious change. And we are committed to making that change.

We believe the institution of civilization, with its cities, agriculture, and technology, is the basis of the most destructive cultures. To face the full impact of civilization requires acknowledging that it is inherently oppressive and destructive. Cities demand the importation of resources, which are ultimately obtained through violence. Agriculture takes more than it gives to the land, turning diverse ecosystems into monocultures and living soil to desert. Technology requires exploitation of the natural world and condenses power into fewer and fewer hands. Industrial civilization in particular, with its machinery, engines, and oil-based production, has further accelerated the speed of the devastation.

Despite all our efforts, the rate of environmental destruction is increasing, and inequality and poverty along with it. Those of us fighting for justice may be winning battles, but we are losing the war. When children are in slavery to make chocolate and a hundred species leave the earth forever every day, we are losing. If industrial civilization continues on this course, it will continue to destroy people and the planet until it collapses. Given the scale of the situation, much of our planet will be dead in the next few decades.

There are many, many committed efforts to change the dominant culture, to help people and other living beings, and to create justice and sustainability. Reforming this culture, alleviating suffering, and celebrating life are meaningful and amazing: that’s what we spend our time doing. But we also do not want to settle. We need to honestly evaluate how effectively our efforts are ending ecocide and oppression.

Industrial culture is not just a way of thinking, an intellectual habit or an emotional experience. It's an interlocking set of institutional power arrangements based on exploitation, violence, and the objectification of living beings. Changes in our individual and collective consciousness are essential, but they are not enough to bring this system down. We need organized, political resistance.

This culture cannot be reformed to one of justice and sanity: it is defined by destructive and oppressive systems of power. To create a liberated world, it must go. The hard truth is that all our efforts to encourage the dominant culture to voluntarily adopt sustainable ways of living have not made a significant impact.

At DGR our driving question will be: how will we make that change happen?

Please understand the nature of this event. DGR is not a festival. It is not a gathering to create a groovy subculture, to simply change a destructive paradigm, to try and escape "the system," or to build a support system solely for personal growth. It is a serious meeting to address the destruction of our planet and potential effective resistance. It will include theoretical discussions of serious and confrontational strategies and tactics. It is expected that participants follow security culture.

We also intend to have a good time. Join us.

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