Endgame, Volume 2: Resistance

endgame: Volume 2 - Resistance
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For Jensen, the civilized rich are essentially exploiters and thieves, whereas the poor are victims of said exploitation, who ought to be facilitating the collapse of civilization. The charges of harm which Jensen brings against civilization fall within two broad categories: destruction of the natural world and destruction of human sociability. Jensen accuses the civilized of enslaving the natural world.

That river is now controlled enslaved to benefit the civilized. This emerges 16 Jensen, Civilization, ix. He asserts that civilization engenders a process which otherizes the natural world. The drive to create more delusional civilized wealth requires active destruction of the landbase which provides the only real wealth.

Like the enslaved river, Jensen believes humans are forced to abandon real sociability in compliance with the civilized economy.

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This type of wage-slavery only occurs in civilization, where people are cut-off from the land, and those who have access to the land are controlled by threat of violence. But this is a romantic characterization of subsistence living. It is asserted that pre-agricultural societies have much more leisure time, relative to labour.

Without objecting to the necessity of this lifestyle, the overly simplistic portrayal in Endgame is a disservice to those who struggle for survival while pursuing an ethical life. For Jensen, claims that civilized humans are more sociable result from false consciousness. Many argue that civilization has allowed for greater connectivity between people. This may have been true in early civilization, but Jensen dismisses the idea. This is a culture where individuals engage only what interests them, ignoring the world around them.

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Write a Review. Sure, I'm preparing on a personal level, and much of that is learning to adapt. How about percent? Seven Stories Press. What can you offer in the way of inspiration?

Moreover, despite popular claims, civilization has not encouraged a cosmopolitan or multicultural ethic. The cultures which continue to thrive are those which have embraced the exploitation of civilized living, and as such are minimally modified iterations of the civilized principles. Alternatives - such as the remaining indigenous populations - are a threat to the homogeneity of civilization and as such, are a primary target for destruction. Moreover, every day before this eventual collapse - Jensen does believe it is inevitable is another day of death for the natural world, and for the sociable human.

Mainstream environmentalists might claim that responsible consumption is an effective means to saving the planet; that organic food, for example, is an ethical choice. But Jensen rejects this, as the mass production of food, whether organic or not, will destroy the soil in which it is grown. Additionally, attempting to change the system through politics is doomed to failure.

Jensen elaborates ideals for post-civilizational society, while remaining deliberately non- prescriptive. Intellectual orientation refers to how humans view their position in the natural order. Failure to follow this imperative will be ultimately self-defeating, as the temporary happiness experienced lasts only so long as the landbase can endure overexploitation. Knowledge of the immediate physical environment is needed to live within it sustainably. Jensen asserts that deep knowledge of the environment will only be attained through a multi- generational relationship with the land.

This provides the knowledge that other ways of living are possible, in fact they have existed all along.


This understanding is critical, in facilitating the imagination of new methods of organization. As the current system is predicated on destruction, it is necessary post-civilization to establish new values. Initially, this demands that nature and everything in it be treated as moral agents. Acceptance of this relationship precludes the establishment civilization, in which the natural world is enslaved.

Jensen believes that once civilizational delusions have been destroyed, real natural value will become obvious. All of these exist abundantly in the natural world, or would if humans had not enclosed and poisoned it. Post-civilization, wealth exists only in the health of the earth, social luxuries and human notions of wealth must 49 Jensen, Resistance, Also see above discussion on enslavement of the river. Post-civilization, vast areas of the planet will become uninhabitable, either seasonably or all together, because they offer no means of sustenance.

Humans living in those areas either adapt to a life of impoverishment or else flee to regions of greater abundance. These post-civilization values are supported by a particular conception of human nature. Humans, Jensen contends, are naturally inclined to live within the limits of their environment, otherwise the species would have been unable to survive for millions of years.

However, this is overly hopeful; whatever human nature was prior to civilized living, it has certainly changed. Luxuries and conveniences are now so heavily relied upon that the civilized will never be able to abandon their lifestyle. Most people having never scavenged or hunted for food, or even spent extended periods outside of a city, will be completely unprepared for the collapse of civilization.

Any expanding economy—and all empires are by definition expanding economies—need to continue expanding or collapse. America grew because there was always another ridge to cross with another forest to cut on the far side, always another river to dam, another school of fish to find and net. And the forests are gone. The rivers are gone. The fish are gone. The pyramid scheme upon which both civilization and more recently capitalism are based has reached its endgame.

Their proper place of course being in service to us. This lie blames anyone and anything other than the end of empire. Once he had us good and scared, in came good cop Bill Clinton, who did far more harm to the natural world than Bush ever did by talking a good game while gutting the agencies tasked with overseeing the Act.

What were we going to do? Vote for Bob Dole? Not bloody likely. Obama made a big deal of delaying the Keystone XL as he pushed to build other pipeline after other pipeline, and as he opened up ever more areas to drilling. Vote for Mitt Romney? What we must finally realize is that the good cop act is, too, simply an act, and that neither the good cops nor the bad cops have ever had our interests at heart.

The primary function of Democrats and Republicans alike is to take care of business. The primary function is not to take care of communities. The primary function is not to take care of the planet. The primary function is to serve the interests of the owning class, by which I mean the owners of capital, the owners of society, the owners of the politicians. We have seen over the last couple of generations a consistent ratcheting of American politics to the right, until by now our political choices have been reduced to on the one hand a moderately conservative Republican calling herself a Democrat, and on the other a strutting fascist calling himself a Republican.

For all of these reasons the election of Trump is no surprise. The US is profoundly and functionally racist and woman-hating, nature hating, poor hating, and based on exploiting humans and nonhumans the world over. So why should it surprise us when someone who manifests these values is elected? He is not the first. Andrew Jackson anyone? If that activist was right so many years ago, that cheap plastic crap from Walmart was the only thing standing between us and fascist revolution and of course this cheap plastic crap merely pushed this social and natural destructiveness elsewhere then he had to know also that cheap plastic crap is not a long term bulwark against fascism.

It can only keep those chickens at bay for so long before they come home to roost.

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Whereas Volume 1 of Endgame presents the problem of civilization, Volume 2 of this pivotal work illustrates our means of resistance. Incensed and hopeful. Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words () and Endgame, Volume 2: Resistance by [Jensen, Derrick].

You can do what I say, or I can beat you. You can sell me your cotton for 50 cents on the dollar, or I can hang you on a tree next to the last black man who refused my offer. Germans offered Jews the choices of different colored ID cards, and many Jews spent a lot of energy trying to figure out which color was better. But the whole point was to keep them busy while convincing them they held some responsibility for their own victimization.

Endgame, Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization

I mean recognizing the truths about this whole exploitative, unsustainable, racist, woman-hating system. Recognizing that the function of politicians in a capitalist system is to act very much like human beings as they enact what is good for capital, as they facilitate, rationalize, put in place, and enforce a socio-pathological system.


These functionaries will not act in opposition to capital because we ask nicely. They will not act in opposition to capital because capitalism impoverishes the poor worldwide. They will not act in opposition to capital because capitalism is killing the planet.

Endgame, Vol. 2: Resistance - Derrick Jensen

They will not act in opposition to capital. The power they wield, and the way they wield it, is not a mistake. It is what capitalism does. Which brings us to Joe Hill. These movements emerge only through organized struggle. And someone has to do the organizing.

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Someone has to do the struggling. And it has to be you, and it has to be me.