Monkeywrenching


Monkeywrenching

Monkeywrenching is economic warfare by sabotage, or ecotage, with the intent to slow down or halt activities which the monkeywrencher perceives as destructive.

History of the term

The phrase to "throw a monkey wrench into the machinery" dates to 1918, although the metaphorical sense of throwing a monkey wrench, meaning an obstacle or hindrance, is a bit older. On 30 July, 1907, the Chicago Tribune published the following: "It should look to them as if he were throwing a monkeywrench into the only market by visiting that Cincinnati circus upon the devoted heads of Kentucky's best customers."

The British version of this phrase, "to throw a spanner into the works", dates to 1934. (Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online)

The term "monkeywrenching" received a public boost from Edward Abbey's novel "The Monkey Wrench Gang", and later on, "Ecodefense" by Dave Foreman.

The term "monkeywrenching" was also used in a more general sense, not specifically related to the environment, in the book "101 Things To Do 'Til the Revolution" by Claire Wolfe. Wolfe used "monkeywrenching" to mean practical jokes and sabotage of what she saw as oppressive government agencies and policies in the United States. Although not herself sympathetic to the environmental movement, Claire Wolfe recommended Edward Abbey's "The Monkey Wrench Gang" in her book as a reference for developing ideas which could be applied to any issue.

ee also

* Hacktivism
* Monkey wrench
* Eco-terrorism
* Anarcho-primitivism

External links

* [http://www.calcentral.com/~mlewis Hayduke Speaks: essays and fiction in the Abbey tradition]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • monkeywrenching — trying to ruin a project, sabotaging, throw a monkey wrench into...    The members of Green Peace were accused of monkeywrenching the whale hunt. They tried to stop it …   English idioms

  • monkeywrenching — noun The commission of usually illegal acts of sabotage motivated by environmentalism. Syn: ecotage …   Wiktionary

  • Radical environmentalism — Radical environmentalism, is a grassroots branch of the larger environmental movement that emerged out of an ecocentrism based frustration with the co option of mainstream environmentalism. It is the ideology behind the radical environmental… …   Wikipedia

  • Ecodefense — Ecodefense: A Field Guide To Monkeywrenching is a book edited by Dave Foreman, with a foreword by Edward Abbey. Background Ned Ludd Books published the first two editions, with Abbzug Press publishing a third edition. The book was first published …   Wikipedia

  • CU project controversy — The CU Project Controversy involved years of protest against a proposed high voltage direct current powerline that was erected on the property of hundreds of farmers in west central Minnesota in the late 1970s. The electrical cooperatives… …   Wikipedia

  • Earth First! — is a radical environmental advocacy group [FBI par.9] that emerged in the Southwestern United States in 1979. Inspired by Rachel Carson s Silent Spring , Aldo Leopold s land ethic, and Edward Abbey s The Monkey Wrench Gang , a group of activists… …   Wikipedia

  • Edward Abbey — Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. His best known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang , which… …   Wikipedia

  • David Foreman — Dave Foreman (born 1947) is a US environmentalist and co founder of the radical environmental movement Earth First! Contents 1 Work with The Wilderness Society 2 Co founder of Earth First! 3 Recent work …   Wikipedia

  • Ecotage! — was a 1972 paperback book edited by Sam Love and published by Pocket Books.The book was a collection of ideas that had been solicited by the group Environmental Action over the previous year in preparation for the publication of the book, for… …   Wikipedia

  • Leaderless resistance — (or phantom cell structure) is a political resistance strategy in which small, independent groups (covert cells) challenge an established adversary such as a government. Leaderless resistance can encompass anything from non violent disruption and …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.