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Can Life Prevail? (Hardcover) [Hardcover]

Pentti Linkola , Sergio Knipe , Eetu Rautio
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2009 1907166017 978-1907166013
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. 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." Kaarlo Pentti Linkola was born in Helsinki in 1932. Having spent most of his life working as a professional fisherman, he now continues to lead a materially simple existence in the countryside. A renowned figure in Finland, since the 1960s Linkola has published numerous books on environmentalism. Today, he is among the foremost exponents of the philosophy of deep ecology.

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About the Author

Kaarlo Pentti Linkola was born in Helsinki in 1932. Having spent most of his life working as a professional fisherman, he now continues to lead a materially simple existence in the countryside. A renowned figure in Finland, since the 1960s Linkola has published numerous books on environmentalism. Today, he is among the foremost exponents of the philosophy of deep ecology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Arktos Media Ltd (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907166017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907166013
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 8.4 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,090,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asks & answers tough questions June 15, 2009
Pentti Linkola is a controversial ecophilosopher, well-known as a deeply committed environmentalist in his Finnish homeland, but fairly unknown outside Scandinavia. That is, until now. "Can Life Prevail?" is the first book by Linkola in English and consists of articles and shorter essays spanning more than a decade of radical environmentalist thought. The topics range from childhood reflections, food hygiene, and bird watching to deforestation and terrorism. Pentti Linkola is a man who has lived and seen the things he talks about. He's not just another trendy green trying to cash in on a political trend; Linkola lives environmentalism. He's protecting a heritage, or as he puts it himself: "Fighting for forests means fighting for Finland. If the forest is flayed, Finland is flayed."

The essence of Linkola's ecophilosophy is conservationism: the whole of our biodiversity carries an intrinsic value. That means protecting ancient forests and rare species is more important than driving an SUV to work, buying every new shiny product from the supermarket, and throwing trash where it suits you. Linkola's plan to stop ecocide is simple: roll back human expansion to sensible levels and return to a local, practical and simpler lifestyle in harmony with nature. Linkola, to be fair, is cynical about the situation. He recognizes that a society too focused on individual desire will always satisfy special public interests instead of looking at the cold reality. That is why he proposes radical solutions to radical problems.

Most of what Linkola says, although it would force even the most radical green-leaning liberal to back down, is close to what many of us would call traditional common sense. We only have one planet. One life.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
If you're concerned about our environment, you have two options. You can be an "environmentalist" and support optional purchases of green products and laws that passively encourage pro-green actions, or you can be a conservationist, and favor setting aside natural spaces without humans in them.

But, as time goes on, it becomes clear that nothing will stop us as a species because we keep expanding, and each individual wants what the others have, so our needs always increase. Linkola offers a solution: drop our pretense of humanism and letting everyone have what they want, and recognize that the cause of our environmental catastrophe is the corrupt, selfish and lazy behavior of individuals. Money talks, and most individuals will sacrifice an old growth forest for a few hundred dollars.

As a result, this book breaks every taboo known to humankind and in doing so, tells us the truth that we so vigorously deny. Because we deny this obvious truth, we can never fix our biggest problems, as the last century shows us. If we summon our maturity and bravery, and peer around inside Linkola's head, we can see possible solutions.

This collection of essays works well for me as a reader because the essays chosen and the order in which they are presented works us gently into Linkola's thought, and shows us the breadth of his vision in terms of its practical applications -- this is not airy theory, but boots on the ground observations backed up by sound reasoning. If our species survives, the kind of thinking that exists in this book will someday be the norm, where today is it violently denied.

It seems the publisher had a few problems with layout in the production of this book, but they are small and easily bypassed.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest appraisal June 11, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been interested in Pentti Linkola for the past few years. His writings are interesting...they are thought provoking, and they are brutally honest. Is he always right? No. Is he usually? Yes.

This 'book' is really a collection of Linkola's essays over the years. The translation appears to be quite good, with what minimal Finnish I know.

Linkola approaches things from a combination of the Schumacher 'Small is Beautiful' approach with a Fascist approach. In other words, like Schumacher, Linkola favors the local, the rural, the ecological. From the Fascist standpoint, Linkola is in favor of forced sterilization, population control, and the like.

Let the reader beware...if you are a left leaning environmentalist, there is much here that will 'offend the senses'. However, those are the people who should read this book. Environmentalism does not make sense when approached from most angles. Linkola's version makes perfect sense. Scary, but logical.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most notorious man in Finland August 21, 2010
Pentti Linkola is easily the most notorious man in Finland. Occasionally, he is mentioned in Swedish newspapers, too. The first time I've heard about him was about 30 years ago! Since Finnish isn't even remotely close to Swedish, I have never been able to read the man's works, however. "Can life prevail?" is apparently the only English translation of Linkola available.

Linkola calls himself a deep ecologist, but there is very little spirituality in his message. In fact, there is none. Instead, we get a melange of love for nature, attacks on modernity, and calls for an authoritarian Green state, amidst a lot of misanthropy. Linkola even supports al-Qaeda's attacks on the World Trade Center. It's the misanthropic and authoritarian streaks that makes Linkola notorious, but these very traits are sometimes difficult to take seriously. Indeed, the American editors suspect that Linkola might be something of an trickster. Even Linkola himself implies as much in one of his articles.

My first memory of Linkola (around 1985) is a weird proposal that a Green Finland should get hold of nuclear weapons and wage war against the rest of the world! This book also contains proposals difficult to take seriously, including a call for a World Government to stop overpopulation, a proposal hardly compatible with the pro-farmer localism and nature nostalgia otherwise espoused by the author. And what are we to make of the following programmatic statement: "The people most responsible for the present economic growth and competition will be transferred to the mountains and highlands to be re-educated. To be employed for this purpose will mostly be ex-sanatoriums with a healthy climate located on pine ridges". Rather than sending them to the salt mines, then?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutally good
Linkola pulls no punches and tells it how it needs to be. If you were ever led to believe overpopulation is not a problem you will think differently after reading this for sure.
Published 12 months ago by james wilkerson
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for Generational American colonials in the South!
This is the kind of writer who transcends "right" and "left" and who can really speak to the (real) American spirit that has been shoved aside by elements like "neo-cons" and "the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by jenna randolph
1.0 out of 5 stars Misanthropic rubbish
I will actually subtract stars from what would be a 2-star book of less than enlightening environmental rants, because the author has the most horrid misanthropic attitude I have... Read more
Published on July 2, 2012 by Avery Morrow
3.0 out of 5 stars Move Over Mao, Here Comes Linkola
Brian Anse Patrick is a Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Toledo. He is author of the books "Rise of the Anti-Media: In-Forming America's Concealed... Read more
Published on October 7, 2011 by bap
5.0 out of 5 stars The most brilliant extreme radical philosopher ever
Linkola is certainly not for everyone. This is a man who praises the tactics of 9-11 on pp. 162 "Bulls Eye" because "the US is the most wretchedly villainous state of all times. Read more
Published on July 24, 2011 by Del Monte
5.0 out of 5 stars In English at long last
It is long past due for Linkola to be translated and published in English. His flavor of radical environmentalism deserves a hearing and wider audience. Read more
Published on September 29, 2009 by Erehwon
3.0 out of 5 stars A grim view of the global environmental crisis
Pentti Linkola is an original European thinker who is respected by many figures in the Deep Ecology movement. Warning. His solutions for today's environmental crisis are grim. Read more
Published on July 22, 2009 by Future Watch Writer
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