Can Life Prevail?

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Can Life Prevail?
Book Cover
Author(s) Pentti Linkola
Cover artist Mattias Lövbrandt
Country London
Language English
Genre(s) Politics
Publisher Arktos
Publication year 2010
Pages 208
ISBN 9781907166013

Can Life Prevail? (finnish: Voisiko elämä voittaa) is a book by the Finnish environmentalist Pentti Linkola, originally translated and published by Integral Tradition Publishing in 2009, the rights to future editions have now passed on to Arktos.

Book Cover Text

With the train of civilisation hurtling at ever-increasing speed towards self-destruction, the most pressing question facing humanity in the 21st century is that of the preservation of life itself. Can Life Prevail?, the latest book by Finnish environmentalist Pentti Linkola, provides a radical yet firmly grounded perspective on the ecological problems threatening both the biosphere and human culture. With essays covering topics as diverse as animal rights, extinction, deforestation, terrorism and overpopulation, Can Life Prevail? for the first time makes the lucid, challenging writing of Linkola available to an English-speaking public.

"By decimating its woodlands, Finland has created the grounds for prosperity. We can now thank prosperity for bringing us – among other things – two million cars, millions of glaring, grey-black electronic entertainment boxes, and many unnecessary buildings to cover the green earth. Wealth and surplus money have led to financial gambling and rampant social injustice, whereby ‘the common people’ end up contributing to the construction of golf courses, classy hotels, and holiday resorts, while fattening Swiss bank accounts. Besides, the people of wealthy countries are the most frustrated, unemployed, unhappy, suicidal, sedentary, worthless and aimless people in history. What a miserable exchange."[1]
- Pentti Linkola

Opinions on the Book

"A strength of Linkola's proposals is that they do not depend on a change in human nature, our attitudes, our priorities etc. He is reconciled to the fact that the species that brought us ethnic cleansing, the Gulag, Kampuchea, the Rwandan genocide, drug lords, suicide bombings and environmental destruction is us. The same species also brought forth Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, J S Bach, William Shakespeare, the Red Cross, the people you and I admire and hundreds of millions of loving relationships in the world today. Linkola is not in denial about the negatives and he addresses them directly. This puts his program ahead of others who lack his courage and honesty.

One weakness in his program is his failure to address the transition and how his proposals might become practical arrangements for everyday living for Finns. Another weakness is his selective consideration of human nature. A third weakness – shared with most reformers – is faith that the future he imagines will be far more fulfilling, enjoyed and embraced than the present; that is, he makes too uncritical a case for both the benefits and the popular acceptance or tolerance of his program."[2]
-Viktor Postnikov on Evfit, extended English version of a review for the Russian journal Nature and Society[3]

"What supporters of deep ecology should prepare for, as Can Life Prevail? becomes known, is that there are quite a few outrageous or quirky statement, which will be brought forward by the opponents of deep ecology. We can refuse to support statements which do not seem to advance ecocentric discussions and basic social justice. However, we do need to see that Linkola makes us aware that all of our activities and policies as humans must be evaluated from their impact on overall biodiversity and the continuation of planetary life.

Being just human-centered in any form of ecopolitics must be repudiated as human chauvinism. According to Linkola, existing political arrangements are not working in capitalist democracies, and new methods of political engagement are urgently called for. As Rudolf Bahro pointed out, we cannot acquiesce to our own demise, which is all we are being offered by the capitalist politicians and their Green Party pale green allies, who are only attempting to brush the teeth of industrial society and not fundamentally change it."[4]
- David Orton for Greenweb


See also

External Links