If you stop a factory polluting the river you could be breaking the law but morally you're doing the right thing.
R.K.: You know I have to say that I've interviewed Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers a few times and one thing that's become very clear to me is he is engaged in at least seventy maybe eighty cases of civil disobedience where he has been arrested, and he and others, because I've interviewed a lot of people who have engaged in civil disobedience and they tell me that there's a joy to it as you have just described.
K.F.: Yes. I would use the word challenging the power structures rather than civil disobedience, something that I don't call myself is a civilian or citizen when people talk about all citizens must do this, it makes me feel a bit sick really because if you identify yourself as a citizen then you're falling into the trap that civilization has set for you.
You're a human being, and that's it. Human beings need to do what human beings should do and what's right for human beings and the rest of nature. Civil disobedience, I would call it just disrupting, resisting, undermining, yes they're all very powerful things. Do the right thing though, don't just do things that are symbolic. Nothing will change by signing a petition.
Nothing will change by waving a placard. Nothing will change by marching unless you absolutely challenge the systems of power. So we have to get away from this idea of symbolic action which is something I have, a whole chapter on symbolic action and the mainstream environmental movement in Underminers.
The mainstream environmental movement have made it almost impossible for people to recognize where actual change is going to come from, so civil disobedience, yes they can do that but it's not going to change anything but undermining, resisting, challenging, sabotaging, whatever you want to call it, you need to be going in the right direction. You need to be taking away the things that keep people disconnected and that really is, that's not just stimulating, I mean it's not just exciting but it feels good. It feels right.
That's that strong feeling of moral justification in what you're doing. And if you get that feeling, I can almost be certain that you've done the right thing.
R.K.: So Keith, we should probably wrap this up and we're going to have to have another conversation. I could proceed in a lot of conversations with you, I think we think along the same lines and-
K.F.: That's great
R.K.: What is your vision, if undermining works and the future goes the way you'd like it to, what would the world look like, what would humanity look like?
K.F.: I don't know and the reason I don't know is because I don't want to create this sort of Letraset, this die-cast idea of different ways to live and how they should be. Humans will organize themselves. Humans will band into communities and tribes. Humans will do what they've always done in the past.
In the absence of authority, in the absence of control and the absence of power, and being disconnected, A connected humanity will create it's own existence and as long as we are ready to keep fighting back, as long as we are ready to keep our own backyard in order as it were, then we can continue that as long as humanity exists which could be for who knows, hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years.
The future, it's what you make it. And I really don't want to put anymore detail on that, I mean who am I to say what's right or what's wrong?
R.K.: Do you feel that the future will include some kind of civilization?
K.F.: No. No I don't see how it can. They may come up from time to time just as they have for the last ten thousand years and there will be people, at least until the next few generations have been born, who feel that tug, that need to return to something they felt sort of, we say comfortable yet it was civilization that makes us feel comfortable, civilization makes us want to continue the way we're living.
In the absence of that power I don't think civilization is something that we should, we'll ever want again. Yeah people will want power, I mean I am currently writing an article to try and explain why civilizations happened, how did this, how did we get in this state in the first place? And I suspect it was some kind of mental illness, some kind of psychotic tendency and as long as we know what to look out for then I think we can avoid it.