By Derrick Jensen
The long-awaited spouse piece to Derrick Jensen's immensely well known and hugely acclaimed works A Language Older Than phrases and The tradition of Make think. Accepting the more and more frequent trust that industrialized tradition unavoidably erodes the flora and fauna, Endgame units out to discover how this courting impels us in the direction of a innovative and as-yet undiscovered shift in procedure. construction on a chain of easy yet more and more provocative premises, Jensen leaves us hoping for what can be inevitable: a go back to agrarian communal lifestyles through the disintegration of civilization itself.
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Additional resources for Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization
PREMISE SEVEN: The longer we wait for civilization to crash—or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down—the messier the crash will be, and the worse things will be for those humans and nonhumans who live during it, and for those who come after. PREMISE EIGHT: The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system. Another way to put Premise Eight: Any economic or social system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral, and stupid.
All descriptions carry with them weighty presumptions of value. This is as true for wordless descriptions such as mathematical formulae—which value the quantifiable and ignore everything else—as it is for the descriptions I gave above. The first version, by giving only current actions—“the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, killing hundreds of people”—devalues (by their absence) cause and context. Why did the towers collapse? What were the events surrounding the collapse? This neat excision of both cause and context is the standard now in journalism, where, for example, we often hear of devastating mudslides in the colonies killing thousands of people who, seemingly unaccountably, were foolish enough to build villages beneath unstable slopes; toward the end of these articles we sometimes see sidelong references to “illegal logging,” but nowhere do we see mention of Weyerhaeuser, Hyundai, Daishowa, or other transnational timber companies, which cut the steep slopes over the objections—and sometimes dead bodies—of the villagers.
But this much is certain: if we do not approach it actively—if we do not talk about our predicament and what we are going to do about it—the violence will almost undoubtedly be far more severe, the privation more extreme. PREMISE TEN: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life. PREMISE ELEVEN: From the beginning, this culture—civilization—has been a culture of occupation. PREMISE TWELVE: There are no rich people in the world, and there are no poor people.