Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization

Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization[KINDLE] ❂ Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization By Derrick Jensen – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk The long awaited companion piece to Derrick Jensen s immensely popular and highly acclaimed works A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe Accepting the increasingly widespread beli The long awaited companion piece to Derrick Jensen 1: The ePUB ✓ s immensely popular and highly acclaimed works A Language Older Than Words and The Culture of Make Believe Accepting the increasingly widespread belief that industrialized culture inevitably erodes the natural world, Endgame sets out to explore how this relationship impels us towards a revolutionary and as yet undiscovered shift in strategy Building on a series of simple but increasingly provocative premises, Jensen leaves Endgame, Vol. ePUB ô us hoping for what may be inevitable a return to agrarian communal life via the disintegration of civilization itself. There s a scene early in Asimov s Foundation when Hari Seldon is on trial for sedition he s been prophesizing the collapse of the Empire and the prosecutor asks him about the group of people he s assembled, if they re there to save the Empire Seldon replies and I paraphrase freely since I don t have the book in front of meOh, no, the Empire s toast The most we can do is make sure the ensuing dark age doesn t last as long as it might without our interventionAnother author who s brou There s a scene early in Asimov s Foundation when Hari Seldon is on trial for sedition he s been prophesizing the collapse of the Empire and the prosecutor asks him about the group of people he s assembled, if they re there to save the Empire Seldon replies and I paraphrase freely since I don t have the book in front of meOh, no, the Empire s toast The most we can do is make sure the ensuing dark age doesn t last as long as it might without our interventionAnother author who s brought to mind is Olaf Stapledon, who, in Last And First Men, recounts the fall of the First Men having exhausted all the energy and mineral resources of the planet, they were unable to cope mentally or physically with the ensuing catastrophesThe collapse of this first world civilization was due to the sudden failure of the supplies of coal All the original fields had been sapped centuries earlier, and it should have been obvious that thoserecently discovered could not last for ever A superstition had arisen in the clouded minds of the world citizens that it was in some mysterious manner inexhaustible The sane policy would have been to abolish the huge expense of power on ritual flying, which usedof the community s resources than the whole of productive industry But to believers in Gordelpus such a course of was almost unthinkable Moreover, it would have undermined the flying aristocracy T he race was now entering upon an unprecedented psychological crisis, brought about by the impact of the economic disaster upon a permanently unwholesome mentalitypp 70 71 Note 1 There s also Mike McQuay s duology, which I read 15 years ago, Pure Blood and Mother Earth That series ends with civilization destroyed, and the survivors reduced to the Stone Age.And then there s H.M Hoover s Children of Morrow, one of my favorite books when I was a kid It s the story of a post apocalypse world where ecological collapse has left the planet oxygen starved, and the survivors struggle to eke a marginal living out of the depleted soil.And what would a review be without a reference two actually to the Malazan Book of the FallenThere is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death The lure is evasion The promise is excusative One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one s own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured pathis to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to comeThe Bonehunters DERRICK JENSEN KARSA ORLONG Separated at birth Perhaps not but both have the same goal to bring down civilization.I m reminded of all these books andbecause all reflect Derrick Jensen s view of human civilization As he succinctly puts it on p 231 of volume oneWe are fucked We are so fucked Not in the good sense of the wordOr in anuanced and less scatological version 1 Industrial civilization is unsustainable It s not a question of if but a question of when it s going to fall.2 The fall is going to be messy.3 The longer it takes civilization to fall, the worse the tragedy In that light there are two things we should be doing Bringing about the fall sooner rather than later and preparing to survive it.He puts forth his case in 20 premises which I list below in abbreviated form , and the pages following present his evidence and his arguments Note 2 Civilization is not sustainable.Traditional communities do not voluntarily give up their resources.Industrial civilization requires persistent and widespread violence.Civilization is based on a hierarchy Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower down is invisible or rationalized as necessary violence done by those lower on the hierarchy is taboo.The property of those higher on the hierarchy isimportant than the lives of those lower down.Civilization is not redeemable it cannot undergo a transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living.The longer civilization takes to fall, the worse the crash and the longer it will take for humans and nonhumans to recover.The needs of the natural world areimportant than the needs of the economic system.The current level of human population will be reduced drastically.That reduction will be violent and involve privations not necessarily because the means are violent but because violence and privation are the defaults in our culture.Civilization is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.Civilization is a culture of occupation.There are no rich there are no poor there are just people The rich make claims against the poor and enforce them with police and other instruments of authority, aided by the deluded collusion of the poor.Those in power rule by force.From birth, humans are conditioned to hate life, the natural world, themselves and others If they weren t, they would be unable to destroy the world around them.Love does not imply pacifism.The material world is primary.It is a mistake to base decisions on what to do about the situation on whether or not it will frighten fence sitters.Our sense of self is nosustainable than our use of energy or technology.Civilization s problem above all is the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable.Economics drive social decisions that are justified by how well they are able to control or to destroy the natural world.I wish I had the time and the endurance to look at each premise and discuss it here in this review But he covers such a wide range of topics in such a discursive manner that it s difficult to summarize them or to mount rebuttals if you have a mind to Like many reviewers on this site at least the ones who ve written anything , I agree with Jensen that civilization is moribund Even if it is not doomed to utter collapse, its fate will be an unhappy one for the foreseeable future.But there s something troubling about his prescriptions.For me, the first is an overly romanticized view IMO of indigenous cultures For example, he mounts a hysterical in the Victorian sense of the word attack against Charles Mann s analysis of pre Columbian tribes and their exploitation of the natural environment in 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus , excoriating Mann for suggesting that Native manipulations of forest and wildlife were in any way similar to industrial civilization s manipulations of the same environments examples of humanity s desire to control nature He even goes so far as to call Mann evil, which I think is going a bit far I don t know and I doubt Jensen knows what Mann s position on the merits of the respective exploitations is I ve read the book in question and, if anything, would be inclined to think Mann prefers the Indian s management over the cock up we ve made of things.The second concern I have is that Jensen s language is the fanatic s or fundamentalist s I understand his fear and his anger that the elites who control the wealth and thus politics and economic development seem to be unreachable by anything short of violence and that most of us act like battered wives, refusing to see how destructive and deadly our relationship is, but I fear his certitude that he s right and there s only one thing we can do hinders convincingpeople that we have a problem I m accepting of his premises because I was already a convert but if I were one of his fence sitters or a mainstream environmentalist, I d probably shut out his arguments when confronted with the anger and his advocacy of violence Note 3 His attitude is too cavalier and dismissive of the consequences Violence has a way of spiraling out of control, of hurting unintended targets, and of provoking responses that are evenviolent It prompted me to reread Emma Goldman s essays on the subject because she ultimately rejected violence in most circumstances Note 4.At the end of reading these volumes, Jensen s question What are you going to do is still the correct one, however.What am I going to do The problems are overwhelming but the solutions are awful to contemplate.I don t know I sincerely don t know.________________________________Note 1 While prescient, Stapledon did give our species 4,000 years of supremacy before he drew down the curtain In think in Jensen s view, we ll be lucky to have 40 years of continued civilization before everything we know of the world and how we live in it ends.Note 2 Mostly arguments The hard facts and figures he usually relegates to a citation in the notes.Note 3 Jensen is very coy about this advocacy He argues that violence is about the only method left to effect real change at this point, but he doesn t tell anyone to commit a violent act He says that, after reading Endgame, it s up to you to decide how you are going to respond if that includes blowing up a dam, committing arson, toppling cellphone towers or hacking into computer networks, that s your choice.Note 4 Emma Goldman is one of the saints in my pantheon it s she and not Jane Austen s Emma after whom my cat is named Her essays on violence and the prison system read as if they were written only yesterday, and she anticipated Derrick with some of her conclusions, e.g., I f the production of any commodity necessitates the sacrifice of human life, society should do without that commodity, but it can not do without that life or The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of very human being to liberty and well being And, unlike Jensen, who claims never to have had the nerve to commit a violent act, Emma walked the walk It s that experience and her observations of the Russian Revolution that informed her subsequent conclusions Though Goldman grew skeptical about the value of individual acts of violence she never doubted the necessity for collective revolutionary violence against capitalism and the State After her experience of Bolshevik terror in Russia she began to reexamine her feelings about sustained collective revolutionary violence as well I know that in the past every great political and social change necessitated violence Yet it is one thing to employ violence in combat as a means of defence It is quite another thing to make a principle of terrorism, to institutionalize it, to assign it the most vital place in the social struggle Such terrorism begets counter revolution and in turn itself becomes counter revolutionary And, The one thing I am convinced of as I have never been in my life is that the gun decides nothing at all Even if it accomplishes what it sets out to do it brings so many evils in its wake as to defeat its original aim Derrick Jensen doesn t seem quite as on top of it in this book he seems angrier andtired, and it feels less cohesive It s like Culture of Make Believe was a heartbreaking knife of a book, and this new one is a giant blunt axe It is so brutal that it s difficult to get through, even for long time readers of Jensen It s given me weeks of nightmares Why, then, should you read it Because this is the world we live in, and these are the facts, and at some point we will all have to face up Derrick Jensen doesn t seem quite as on top of it in this book he seems angrier andtired, and it feels less cohesive It s like Culture of Make Believe was a heartbreaking knife of a book, and this new one is a giant blunt axe It is so brutal that it s difficult to get through, even for long time readers of Jensen It s given me weeks of nightmares Why, then, should you read it Because this is the world we live in, and these are the facts, and at some point we will all have to face up to them, and it s just not going to get easier Start now Well, F ck I originally wanted to only use a quote from this book as my review Yet, having now finished it, I do want to add a fewwords Due to my kind nature, however, I will insert this quote as an alternative for readers not wanting to read my slightly longer critique See belowWe re f cked We re so f cked Not in the good sense of the word I feel this is a good summary Now for anyone looking for a bitinformation on this book please feel free to read further on Well, F ck I originally wanted to only use a quote from this book as my review Yet, having now finished it, I do want to add a fewwords Due to my kind nature, however, I will insert this quote as an alternative for readers not wanting to read my slightly longer critique See belowWe re f cked We re so f cked Not in the good sense of the word I feel this is a good summary Now for anyone looking for a bitinformation on this book please feel free to read further on Before I start, I need to make a separation between the subject Jensen tackles, and him as a writer The first distinction, the subject matter, is utterly unquestionable in my humble opinion , and is the most important part of this book a potential reader should bare in mind In fact, I would go as far to say that the subject matter overrules anything else discussed in this review I found myself in total agreement with Jensen on many, many points he makes in this book We are heading for a nightmare scenario, and reading this has only made it all theclearer to me Not just the facts of what we re doing amount of trees harvested, miles of oceans vacuumed etc , but the spiritual suicide we re committing Readers of this review be warned, Jensen makes absolutly sure to dissect our spiritual loss in EXCRUCIATING detail His editor made sure to leave no stone unturned in his critical annihilation As an example, I considered myself pretty aware of the lack of care for nuance in our society, and the contempt those in power hold for our planet global warming, psychopaths in power, my belief that our system needs a complete overhaul , but I was proven disastrously unprepared for the multiple emotional horrors Jensen was to make me conscious of I won t detail , as I hope you will give this book a try regardless of opinion The subject matter is too important.The second distinction Jensen as a writer I found to be not quite as solid in my analysis This is my first Jensen book, and I m still unsure as to whether it might be my last About midway through reading I found through a decent amount of time flicking through Goodread reviews that this may not have been his most concise work His other texts such asA Language Older Than WordsandA Culture of Make Believeseem to be his most well regarded compendiums Unfortunately, having not read them myself, I can t really make any comparison As such, I can only go on this reading, and I found it a mixed bag to say the least A good first half of Endgame, and it s thought to paper analysis of our current situation as a species, will punch the readers gut like a shotgun blast from two feet away When Jensen hits his stride he s practically unstoppable in decapitating myths and long held beliefs raised high by civilised cultures Unfortunately, approaching the second half of the book, the reader may notice Jensen running out of steam I tried to rationalise and compound this problem into something simple when thinking of writing this review, and I think I can sum it up in one or two sentences Jensens straight to the point, no bullsh t criticisms eventually sneak up on him, and his well founded bitterness on the topic overwhelms his writing process There really is only so many ways to convey the same we re f cked message to readers in a 451 page book and let s not forget it s sister novel, Volume II Resistance , which if we add them together, totals a whopping 800 pages There s plenty of different aspects on the topic that Jensen covers, as well as great stories and examples he gives Star Wars particularly sticks out of how he feels we need to start viewing the world But he also repeats himself, multiple times, about the same things, worded differently, throughout He also manages to createthan a few unnecessary pages of subject matter that simply doesn t gel together and this is coming from a reader like myself, who will happily put aside nit picking see my review of Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges an authors style if I believe the topic itself is farimportant than the person drawing attention to said topic As such, I suggest the reader pick this up with the aim to engage in what Jensen is getting at with regards to the subject matter and not hope for a consistently engaging read along the way Overall, I believe you will be rewarded for this especially if you haven t read Jensen before, and especially if you haven t read anything environmental based as the powerful outweighs the mundane in this mans writings by good mile I do aim to read his other works, and the fact he uses said books as references in Endgame solidifies my belief that I ll aim to do so. Derrick Jensen s point is that civilization is going to very likely kill us all if allowed to continue It may be global warming, butlikely it will be a number of things, all making disturbances in the ecosystem, disrupting it, and causing it to fail When ecosystems fail, it happens dramatically and quickly, and although life is wonderfully adaptive, the kind of life that sustains human beings is but one kind, and there is no reason to believe that the forms life adapts into will be so co Derrick Jensen s point is that civilization is going to very likely kill us all if allowed to continue It may be global warming, butlikely it will be a number of things, all making disturbances in the ecosystem, disrupting it, and causing it to fail When ecosystems fail, it happens dramatically and quickly, and although life is wonderfully adaptive, the kind of life that sustains human beings is but one kind, and there is no reason to believe that the forms life adapts into will be so convenient to our survival.All signs point to this narrative being pretty spot on I have a suspicion that this isn t an issue for the handful of people who run things, pushing everything towards a global catastrophe, because they have the means to build themselves hermetically sealed palaces where they can ride the collapse out indefinitely Since I am not on the guest list for this party, I am personally concerned about the fate of myself and the other 7 billion people on earth who will be left to fend for themselves once the shit hits the fan and thereafter, as the world turns largely inhospitable to life.If you think that we will scientifically solve all of the problems we ve created, you are misled about the very nature of science it has always worked in the service of profit, and not the other way around Science and technology should have been working to understand our impact on the planet all along, but instead, they do nothing but multiply the harm we do Imagine if a scientist came out with the news that we are on a course towards run away populations, mass extinction of species, pollution that will threaten all of life they did But the logical outcome of their findings, that the rape of indigenous peoples and lands must stop, that technology has to be deployed only after careful consideration of its net effect on the environment our species included , that huge sums of money must be invested in studying the likely trajectory of our civilization s path towards collapse, etc., were, to say the least, unpalatable to those in power then As they are unpalatable to those in power now, despite all the extra accumulated evidence for these facts Man on TV say, global warming not real It is probably easy to go over the top when dealing with this subject, because as far as our society is concerned, this is the most unacceptable subject of them all we have been taught that civilization is good for so long that most of us can t conceive of it any other way When dealing with Luddites and their arguments, we say things like, I like my technology, and clearly, we would have no technology if not for civilization But on the other hand, we are not happy people, in general, and not knowing better, we assume that people have always been as unhappy as we are now This utterly false notion is hammered into our heads from the day we are born in the past, we are told, life was nasty, brutish and short, and surely, a nasty short life is an unhappy life In reality, there issuffering in the world today than ever before, whichever way you want to quantify it Those with a vested interest in keeping us in line use our unhappiness and ignorance to great advantage, making sure that we remain as unhappy and as ignorant as possible If we were less unhappy, we might not think that having a new and better gadget is that great, and if we were less ignorant, we might actually get outraged when the powerful repeatedly rape the powerless I hope At least when the powerless getting raped happen to be us.Growing older, I find that I am less and less inclined to think it possible that the destruction of the world will be halted, in time or at all As another Goodreads reviewer pointed out, people do seem to be living out some kind of pre programmed imperative, driving them to do nothing to halt the destruction of their environment, their biological support system This revelation carries with it certain powerful implications for our understanding of the human race in this case, not so different from any lower species that would deplete its environment of all sustenance until the inevitable population crash But I don t want to over think it My goal has become to simply find a way to live a humane life myself, which means finding a way to live among others in mutual goodwill and support, for the most part Even this seems damn near impossible sometimes though, so good luck to us all I probably would have given this book three stars for being an interesting read Derrick Jensen calls himself an anti civilization anarchist His basic premise is that because we takeout of the earth than we give back to it, our civilization will eventually fail He is very radical in his views and is far from a boring author.I gave it only two stars and would give it 1 and 1 2 if I could after he came to my class and spoke He looked and smelled like a bum His hair was unkempt, he ha I probably would have given this book three stars for being an interesting read Derrick Jensen calls himself an anti civilization anarchist His basic premise is that because we takeout of the earth than we give back to it, our civilization will eventually fail He is very radical in his views and is far from a boring author.I gave it only two stars and would give it 1 and 1 2 if I could after he came to my class and spoke He looked and smelled like a bum His hair was unkempt, he had mismatched and missized clothes and was in all very unimpressive His speech was pretty canned and he shamelessly used a lot of the clever soundbites from his book He had a following of equally disheveled and stinky people who obviously adored him He lives with some Indians in California and couldn t stop talking about the salmon.The first thing he said to our class was I have seen Britney Spears genitals I suppose the way he is in person shouldn t affect the way I feel about the book, but I honestly couldn t believe that what seemed to be sophisticated writing came from such a slob.His message is that the world is coming to an end and there really is no way to fix it, except in theoretical, which would be move away from the global culture and become 10,000 tiny hunter gatherer type cultures.Read for the first chapter or two for a good laugh, but then go read somethingedifying, like Danielle Steele There was a point, about half way through Endgame Vol 1 The Problem of Civilization, where I was sick of Derrick Jensen s obsessions I was tired of reading about dams and salmon and Indians and rape I was tired of his rambling style, his repetition, and his tendency to let quotations from others speak for themselves a bad rhetorical habit I constantly strive to teach my students to overcome.In most circumstances these annoyances would be enough to make me put down my book and walk away ev There was a point, about half way through Endgame Vol 1 The Problem of Civilization, where I was sick of Derrick Jensen s obsessions I was tired of reading about dams and salmon and Indians and rape I was tired of his rambling style, his repetition, and his tendency to let quotations from others speak for themselves a bad rhetorical habit I constantly strive to teach my students to overcome.In most circumstances these annoyances would be enough to make me put down my book and walk away ever since reading Anna Karenina I do my best to avoid wasting my reading time But there was no putting down Endgame Vol 1 The Problem of Civilization There is too much of value in Jensen s words.For anyone who is awake to what this world around us has become, for anyone aware of their own enslavement, for anyone aware of civilization s inherent destructiveness, for anyone who is appalled by consumerism, for anyone struggling with the forced contradictions between their beliefs and they way they must live, for anyone willing to give up comfort for life, for anyone who simply loves life, Endgame Vol 1 The Problem of Civilization is a masterpiece you must read, and the call to arms you ve been waiting to hear.For years I have been talking to my classes and anyone else who will listen about many of the things Jensen has written about, and I always felt I was talking into a vacuum To know there is someone else out there, another anarchist and, yes, that can be a fine thing , who sees the things I see and is connected to a whole community of like minded people is liberating.Jensen s most moving chapter is entitled Hope Never have I seen a better argument for the banishment of hope Jensen sees hope as an ill, the primary motivation of slaves Hope destroys agency, and once a person hopes and stops taking action they are a slave to whatever they should be fighting As long as we hope for change, as long as leaders like Obama generate hope in us that we can make a change, we will make no change because we have hope instead I liberated myself from hope long ago, but to see someone else talking about hope as the negative it is, rather than as the positive the most people want it to be, is quickening I disagree with some of Jensen s analogies, and I got bored with his obsessions, but I m neither bored nor in disagreement with any of his goals.He has it right Now we need to listen and take action and have no fear about Jensen s commitment He will most certainly blow up a dam before he dies Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide awake But this wide awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeating in the mirrors of reason When we emerge, perhaps we will realize we have been dreaming with our eyes open, and that the dreams of reason are intolerable And then, perhaps, we will begin to dream oncewith our eyes closed. Octavio PazWhat do you do after reading Endgame Here are your choices a blow up Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide awake But this wide awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeating in the mirrors of reason When we emerge, perhaps we will realize we have been dreaming with our eyes open, and that the dreams of reason are intolerable And then, perhaps, we will begin to dream oncewith our eyes closed. Octavio PazWhat do you do after reading Endgame Here are your choices a blow up dams b reject the entire idea and plunge back into civilization, c nothing You simply wrest in your sleep, blacking out with intermittent bouts of rage, thinking they are too big They can t be stopped Endgame is a poisonous book, righteous and indignant It is perilous because you can not stop thinking about the terror of a malignant civilization which you are very much a part You have three options Terrorism, Republicanism, or Inactivity Here are the problems Terrorism.To enact the dam blowing up this book invokes, you are not a terrorist, but a freedom fighter This phrasing is used because that is what you will be called When imprisoned and stripped of your voice, this is how you will be referred to I have heard of a Jensen clique being broken up by intelligence officers, who only had to record members of this outfit condoning the act of blowing up a dam, to imprison them for 20 years They did not buy the explosives, they did not blow up the dam, they did not do anything wrong except answer yes to the question, Would it be beneficial to blow up a dam Republicanism.You can reject the tenets of this book That there is an enslavement of the natural world, of indigenous cultures, of cyclical processes and a condemning of Civilization Join the status quo, get married and have kids with the snap of a finger and avoid the fact that you re powerless, but say that you re an individual What can an individual do Protect the state, keep it going and merrily happen the problem and ignore the qualities of life descending around you It ll work for a while Nothing.This is a double edged sword Because this is not a real answer Your wresting at night, your incapability of dealing with the consequences of revenging nature are not apathy They are an inquisition If you choose and feel like you are dying, it is because of metamorphosis You are changing This butterfly or whatever that is becoming could easily die, thus enabling ignorance, but if it doesn t you are bound to re evaluate That is what I think this book is good for Re evaluating the whole structure It is impossible to get away with being as revolutionary as Jensen concedes, but it is possible to seed that inflammation and do what you can to protect yourself, the natural world and defend against the corporate, historically European colonialist, industrial usurper that is snaking its way into our cerebral cavities and making us think there is only one option We are beginning something, it is restless and it is not terrorism The future is scary as hell, but it s also beautiful as hell You just have to be doing the right thing, fighting for the right thing To follow this book then is to combine two aspects of Jensen s philosophy Even if you believe the united States and the global economy are fundamentally destructive, you cannot use the master s tools to dismantle the master s house.This is not about dominating the current power structure with a revolution It is about revolutionizing our relationship with the world Were we not abusive to the land, to each other, to ourselves, we would sit back and see what the landscape gives willingly, what it wants us to have, what it wants from us, what it needs from us That s what you do in relationships, if you re not abusiveThis book emits restlessness because it awakens us, to a factor that we are not regularly reminded of a lot of this shit is not real Aesthetics are contrived Beauty is subjective And that is the most important aspect of this book, we are not defined We have yet to emanate our own identityThe two aspects then is that we come from a natural world that permit s the continuation of itself, eating and feeding back into itself The other aspect is that readers of Endgame are not a part of this natural world, but of an anonymous one, that enables rationalization to excuse abject confrontation and dilutes the power of self into a powerless particle, i.e Abusers have no identity of their own.If you decide to pick up this book, know it s strength An endemic suicide is our concrete landscape, what s underneath it Expect violence and terror, because change is incapable of being radical To save freshwater salmon, dams have to go you can t use the master s tools to dismantle the master s house This is not an overthrow It is a departure And most importantly, Who are youreviewed by L.Z This book is bloated with sloppy writing and sloppy thinking like the work of environmental guru Ed Abbey but like Abbey s books, Endgame has apparently won a following among frustrated, desperate environmentalists.Jensen makes many accurate observations about the human institutions and behavior patterns that may be aggregated into the abstraction civilization I found nothing new here I ve been making these observations myself for decades, and I ve also read muchinsightful and coh This book is bloated with sloppy writing and sloppy thinking like the work of environmental guru Ed Abbey but like Abbey s books, Endgame has apparently won a following among frustrated, desperate environmentalists.Jensen makes many accurate observations about the human institutions and behavior patterns that may be aggregated into the abstraction civilization I found nothing new here I ve been making these observations myself for decades, and I ve also read muchinsightful and coherent statements of them by smarter and wiser observers like Ted Roszak and Wendell Berry I salute Jensen for achieving these insights, but I pity him for succumbing to an anger that blinds him to further experience that might reveal still deeper insights.His thinking is so muddled by his anger that even as he rails against civilization as an abstraction, he bases his arguments on civilized paradigms books, statistics, scientific and technological concepts like energy and the planet He pays lip service to natural cycles as an alternative to progress, then advocates the linear historical paradigm of revolution taking down civilization as if it s a temporary mistake that can be eliminated, instead of the cyclical pattern repeatedly produced by the very indigenous cultures he reveres He s like the Bolsheviks, bourgeois academics who claimed to support the working class, but who were ignorant of what it was they were supporting, and who sought only to destroy, without knowing how to create.While professing ecological and social wisdom, he shows profound ignorance of the functioning of natural ecosystems and human societies which is also true of many academic ecologists and sociologists, not to mention environmentalists Advocating resistance and violence, disparaging pacifism, he fails to see that in the long cycles of ecology, organisms which avoid violence and adapt to changing conditions outlive both the aggressors and those who violently resist Violence begets violence, just as the revolution of the Bolsheviks led to the purges of Stalin.Jensen writes as if civilization is something distinct from people, an idea that can be stopped and discarded But looking at the archaeological record with eyes unclouded by anger, we can see that civilization is what the majority of humans do To fall back on the old academic argument about noble hunter gatherers evolving linearly into exploitative, enslaving agriculturalists, as Jensen does, is to fall back into the civilized paradigms of linear time and progress When we look around us at our species and its works, we see many large scale societies engaged in large scale destruction And if we probe further into the nooks and crannies, we find many tiny minorities some of those being Jensen s indigenous groups engaged successfully with healthy natural habitats Looking back into the cultural memories of these societies and groups, we see the same things, repeated in natural cycles.Despite his professed sympathy for animals, Jensen fails to recognize that humans are also animals, and like other animals, we are incapable of transforming our species behavior, of which civilization is clearly a majority component, arising again and again in long cycles To stop it, we would need to evolve dramatically or commit species suicide which may happen, but not intentionally.Iconic books are of paramount importance to civilized people like Jensen, to Muslim fundamentalists, to evangelical Christians Books like this, like the books of Ed Abbey, will continue to inspire angry young people to lash out against the works of specific large scale societies like the U.S., taking small chips out of the armor of particular civilizations as much larger innate forces slowly bring these societies down, to be replaced by others in the long cycles of human time.In the Endgame, Jensen is just another alienated product of large scale consumer society a parasite like the rest of us Lacking the experience, knowledge and wisdom to become a productive, supportive member of a sustainable community, all he can do is vent his anger and advocate destruction, falling prey to the misguided myth of the noble warrior My heroes are the creators, not the destroyers and the creators are not writing books or taking vengeance on evil industrialists, they re working productively with their local communities and habitats to provide food and raise healthy children, in tiny niches scattered throughout the countryside in the nooks and crannies overlooked by civilization The industrialists and the monkeywrenchers will destroy the creators will sustain This book bores me to death I have never been a fan of Jensen s writing, while agreeing with many of his basic premises enjoying the themes he touches on I think he s a terrible writer It seems like every other page has something like, The other day I was talking to a friend, she said that or I m writing an email right now, a bird is chirping outside my window Come ON Some call that approachable, relatable I call that terrible writing This guy quotes himself at length in thi This book bores me to death I have never been a fan of Jensen s writing, while agreeing with many of his basic premises enjoying the themes he touches on I think he s a terrible writer It seems like every other page has something like, The other day I was talking to a friend, she said that or I m writing an email right now, a bird is chirping outside my window Come ON Some call that approachable, relatable I call that terrible writing This guy quotes himself at length in this book, I believe pages pages of excerpt from A Culture of Make Believe or something This book passed through a fucking editor How is that possible This book could be 1 4 of the size if he had had an editor with the heart to do the job correctly, that s how most of his books feel His voice is boring, if you ve read any of his books you ve pretty much read them all Also, if you re a person of color like me, you may find his blatant tokenizing of brown indigenous cultures to be infuriating I can pretty much sum up his ideas as all oppressions are connected, civilization is doomed we re doomed with it, most people suck, blow up the dams salmon He ll never let you forget the salmon His wheel of oppressions that he breaks down rarely recognize queer or color oppression unless it serves his own interests It s insulting, boring, we can all do better than this Probably the worst environmental book ever written, by a narcissistic, nihilistic eco feminist whose childhood abuse became his adult politics The main premise is that civilization is not and can never be sustainable, and the only way for us to survive as a species is to go back to the stone age He calls indigenous warfare a form of play He equates all labor with slavery, all trade with theft, all technology with violence He is a master of hyperbole.His solution More violence How origina Probably the worst environmental book ever written, by a narcissistic, nihilistic eco feminist whose childhood abuse became his adult politics The main premise is that civilization is not and can never be sustainable, and the only way for us to survive as a species is to go back to the stone age He calls indigenous warfare a form of play He equates all labor with slavery, all trade with theft, all technology with violence He is a master of hyperbole.His solution More violence How original He s a wannabe eco terrorist, advocating destruction of property and assassination, which he justifies with moral relativism But he only talks about it, endlessly, rather than actually doing it He is, in his own words, a coward He thinks that what civilization builds are for the nefarious purposes of those in power, rather than to meet the demands of regular people like himself I guess he thinks his hatred of capitalism excuses him from actually understanding how it works.Nonetheless, he does make a lot of good points about the problems facing our civilization, and some of his analogies made me think The environmental crisis is the greatest challenge we ve ever faced Indeed, it goes to the root of everything civilization is built on Does that mean it s not possible for our civilization to become sustainable Does that mean that it s not worth trying He believes there s nothing redeemable about civilization, and that root problems are insoluable.I m not exactly a big believer in the system, but I m also not interested in hunting and gathering I like my pre cooked meals and central heating, and I do very much believe it s possible to live comfortably AND sustainably Just maybe not as comfortably as most Americans would like Jensen is a crackpot who would like to destroy my property and lifestyle in the name of his righteous cause Or rather, he d like to persuade his readers to do it for him

Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization PDF ↠
  • Paperback
  • 495 pages
  • Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization
  • Derrick Jensen
  • English
  • 27 October 2019
  • 158322730X