Saturday, January 31, 2009

Premises about Civilization by Derrick Jensen (a white male seeker of truth and justice)

What follows was written by the antiracist, profeminist, environmental radical activist-author, Derrick Jensen, and appears, minus my butting in, in his book Endgame, vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization. Anything in [brackets] was intrusively written by moi.

Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.

Premise Two: Traditional [Indigenous] communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed. They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources--gold, oil, and so on--can be extracted. It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.

Premise Three: Our way of living--industrial civilization--is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, [profoundly delusional levels of fear, often acted out in gynocidal and genocidal atrocities such as the rape and murder of women], and the fetishization of its victims.

Premise Five: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. [The italicised emphasis is mine.]It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control--in everyday language, to make money--by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice.


Premise Eleven: From the beginning, this culture--civilization--has been a culture of occupation.


Premise Thirteen: Those in power rule by force and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable choices about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.


Premise Fifteen: Love does not imply pacifism.


Premise Seventeen: It is a mistake (or more likely, denial) to base our decisions on whether actions arising from them will or won't frighten fence-sitters, or the mass of [U.S.] Americans.

For the complete set of Premises, please obtain a copy of the book linked to above and again here.

For more about Derrick, click on the link to his website located to the right on my "Important Webpages" list below my blogroll. To hear more on this subject from a talk by Derrick Jensen, see:


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