The Unsustainability of Civilisation

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Damnthematrix
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The Unsustainability of Civilisation
This was being discussed on another group I belong to, and thought folks here would like to share it with me....
 Premises
  • Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.[4]
  • Premise Two: Traditional 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, and the fetishization of the victims.
  • Premise Five: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. 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 Six: Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to immiserate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the planet) collapses. The effects of this degradation will continue to harm humans and nonhumans for a very long time.
  • Premise Seven: The longer we wait for civilization to crash—or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down—the messier will be the crash, 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. Sustainability, morality, and intelligence (as well as justice) requires the dismantling of any such economic or social system, or at the very least disallowing it from damaging your landbase.
  • Premise Nine: Although there will clearly some day be far fewer humans than there are at present, there are many ways this reduction in population could occur (or be achieved, depending on the passivity or activity with which we choose to approach this transformation). Some of these ways would be characterized by extreme violence and privation: nuclear armageddon, for example, would reduce both population and consumption, yet do so horrifically; the same would be true for a continuation of overshoot, followed by crash. Other ways could be characterized by less violence. Given the current levels of violence by this culture against both humans and the natural world, however, it’s not possible to speak of reductions in population and consumption that do not involve violence and privation, not because the reductions themselves would necessarily involve violence, but because violence and privation have become the default. Yet some ways of reducing population and consumption, while still violent, would consist of decreasing the current levels of violence required, and caused by, the (often forced) movement of resources from the poor to the rich, and would of course be marked by a reduction in current violence against the natural world. Personally and collectively we may be able to both reduce the amount and soften the character of violence that occurs during this ongoing and perhaps longterm shift. Or we may not. 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. There are just people. The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something—or their presumed riches may be even more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks—and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.
  • 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 decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.
  • Premise Fourteen: From birth on—and probably from conception, but I’m not sure how I’d make the case—we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes—and our bodies—to be poisoned.
  • Premise Fifteen: Love does not imply pacifism.
  • Premise Sixteen: The material world is primary. This does not mean that the spirit does not exist, nor that the material world is all there is. It means that spirit mixes with flesh. It means also that real world actions have real world consequences. It means we cannot rely on Jesus, Santa Claus, the Great Mother, or even the Easter Bunny to get us out of this mess. It means this mess really is a mess, and not just the movement of God’s eyebrows. It means we have to face this mess ourselves. It means that for the time we are here on Earth—whether or not we end up somewhere else after we die, and whether we are condemned or privileged to live here—the Earth is the point. It is primary. It is our home. It is everything. It is silly to think or act or be as though this world is not real and primary. It is silly and pathetic to not live our lives as though our lives are real.
  • Premise Seventeen: It is a mistake (or more likely, denial) to base our decisions on whether actions arising from these will or won’t frighten fence-sitters, or the mass of Americans.
  • Premise Eighteen: Our current sense of self is no more sustainable than our current use of energy or technology.
  • Premise Nineteen: The culture’s problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable.
  • Premise Twenty: Within this culture, economics—not community well-being, not morals, not ethics, not justice, not life itself—drives social decisions.
  • Modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the monetary fortunes of the decision-makers and those they serve.
  • Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are determined primarily (and often exclusively) on the basis of whether these decisions will increase the power of the decision-makers and those they serve.
  • Re-modification of Premise Twenty: Social decisions are founded primarily (and often exclusively) on the almost entirely unexamined belief that the decision-makers and those they serve are entitled to magnify their power and/or financial fortunes at the expense of those below.
  • Re-modification of Premise Twenty: If you dig to the heart of it—if there were any heart left—you would find that social decisions are determined primarily on the basis of how well these decisions serve the ends of controlling or destroying wild nature.
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ao
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The Ultimate Unsustainability of ANYTHING

Ultimately ANYTHING of a material nature or anything created by humans is unsustainable.  That's not much of a revelation.  Some of his statements may be valid and some seem downright delusional but to be blunt, they mostly strike me as extremistic, nihilistic, anarchistic views of a wounded human being.

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation
ao wrote:

Ultimately ANYTHING of a material nature or anything created by humans is unsustainable.  That's not much of a revelation.  Some of his statements may be valid and some seem downright delusional but to be blunt, they mostly strike me as extremistic, nihilistic, anarchistic views of a wounded human being.

Undermining the content in this forum with comments such as these are becoming something of a pattern of late, as though long term posters have some kind of right to attack not just the article, but the messenger also. It would give me no surprise at all in considering just how difficult it must be for people who have recently watched the Crash Course in writing their first post if they have to wade through some of the stinking cesspool of personalities who've arrived here first.

With that in mind, an ever decreasing circle of bigger and bigger ego's demanding more and more agreement from online forum friends who protect each other rather than the subjects posted is ripping the throat out of the content of this forum from the inside out.

There are many other ways in making life more bearable than sitting at a computer bitching all day about the inconsistencies of living on this whirling rock of iniquity. If just one of those "many other ways"  involves the means of direct action for the right to breath clean air, free and clear, I want to know about it.

I'll tolerate almost anything but bigotry ...

... and I'll tolerate and I'll tolerate, and then I look about me on this forum, and it suddenly dawned on me. If I want people to "STOP" writing effluent on it, drawing the knife in and out of it and killing it with a thousand cuts, I have to keep writing posts like this one. I have to make people realise again and again that those who continually attack subjects and people without even grasping a single digit percent of the information provided; don't grasp a single digit percent of the time and effort taken to write and share subjects of interest;  don't spend more than a single digit percent in time writing their own articles for fear of being attacked - is a total waste of breath if everyone has left and the end result is one writer with an audience of one; one writer in total agreement with themselves, or a majority of 'Yes Men', nodding in perpetual agreement about disinformation as though it were information alikened to group masterbation.

On average, I spend between fifteen hours and three days researching the subjects that I post. It is a matter of respect to Chris that I do that.

The subject of Derrick Jensen is no different ...

Derrick Jensen

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derrick_Jensen

[snippet]

Jensen is often labeled an anarcho-primitivist, meaning that he sees civilization to be inherently unsustainable and based on violence. He argues that the modern industrial economy is fundamentally at odds with healthy relationships, the natural environment, and indigenous peoples. He concludes that the very pervasiveness of these behaviors indicates that they are diagnostic symptoms of the greater problem of civilization itself. Accordingly, he exhorts readers and audiences to help bring an end to industrial civilization. This has led to the creation of resistance groups such as Fertile Ground.

In A Language Older Than Words and also in an article entitled Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Jensen states "Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right".

Jensen proposes that a different, harmonious way of life is possible, and that it can be seen in many past societies including many Native American or other indigenous cultures. He claims that many indigenous peoples perceive a primary difference between Western and indigenous perspectives: even the most progressive Westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world works. Furthermore, these indigenous peoples understand the world as consisting of other beings with whom we can enter into relationship; this stands opposed to the more Western belief that the world consists of objects or resources to be exploited or used.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

http://www.derrickjensen.org/vio.html

Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right. I've written books and done activism, but it is neither a lack of words nor activism that is killing salmon here in the Northwest. It's the dams.

Anyone who knows anything about salmon knows the dams must go. Anyone who knows anything about politics knows the dams will stay. Scientists study, politicians and business people lie and delay, bureaucrats hold sham public meetings, activists write letters and press releases, and still the salmon die.

Sadly enough, I'm not alone in my inability or unwillingness to take action. Members of the German resistance to Hitler from 1933 to 1945, for example, exhibited a striking blindness all too familiar: Despite knowing that Hitler had to be removed for a "decent" government to be installed, they spent more time creating paper versions of this theoretical government than attempting to remove him from power. It wasn't a lack of courage that caused this blindness but rather a misguided sense of morals. Karl Goerdeler, for instance, though tireless in attempting to create this new government, staunchly opposed assassinating Hitler, believing that if only the two could sit face to face Hitler might relent.

We, too, suffer from this blindness and must learn to differentiate between real and false hopes. We must eliminate false hopes, which blind us to real possibilities and unlivable situations. Does anyone really believe our protests will cause Weyerhaeuser or other timber transnationals to stop destroying forests ? Does anyone really believe the same corporate administrators who say they "wish salmon would go extinct so we could just get on with living" (Randy Hardy of BPA) wiill act other than to fulfill their desires? Does anyone really believe a pattern of exploitation old as our civilization can be halted legislatively, judicially or through any means other than an absolute rejection of the mindset that engineers the exploitation, followed by actions based on that rejection? Does anybody really think those who are destroying the world will stop because we ask nicely or because we lock arms peacefully in front of their offices?

Additionally, there can be few who still believe the purpose of government is to protect citizens from the activities of those who would destroy. The opposite is true: Political economist Adam Smith was correct in noting that the primary purpose of government is to protect those who run the economy from the outrage of injured citizens. To expect institutions created by our culture to do other than poison waters, denude hillsides, eliminate alternative ways of living and commit genocide is to engage in na‹ve thinking.

Many German conspirators hesitated to remove Hitler from office because they'd sworn loyalty to him and his government. Their scruples caused more hesitation than their fear. How many of us have yet to root out misguided remnants of a belief in the legitimacy of this government to which, as children, we pledged allegiance? How many of us fail to cross the line into violent resistance because we still believe that, somehow, the system can be reformed? And if we don't believe that, what are we waiting for? As Shakespeare so accurately put it, "Conscience doth make cowards of us all."

It could be argued that by comparing our government to Hitler's I'm overstating my case. I'm not sure salmon would agree, nor lynx, nor the people of Peru, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, or any other place where people pay with their lives for the activities of our culture.

If we're to survive, we must recognize that we kill by inaction as surely as by action. We must recognize that, as Hermann Hesse wrote, "We kill when we close our eyes to poverty, affliction or infamy. We kill when, because it is easier, we countenance, or pretend to approve of atrophied social, political, educational, and religious institutions, instead of resolutely combating them."

The central-and in many ways only-question of our time is this: What are sane, appropriate and effective responses to outrageously destructive behavior? So often, those working to slow the destruction can plainly describe the problems. Who couldn't? The problems are neither subtle nor cognitively challenging. Yet when faced with the emotionally daunting task of fashioning a response to these clearly insoluble problems, we generally suffer a failure of nerve and imagination. Gandhi wrote a letter to Hitler asking him to stop committing atrocities and was mystified that it didn't work. I continue writing letters to the editor of the local corporate newspaper pointing out mistruths and am continually surprised at the next absurdity.

I'm not suggesting a well-targeted program of assassinations would solve all of our problems. If it were that simple, I wouldn't be writing this essay. To assassinate Slade Gorton and Larry Craig, for example, two senators from the Northwest whose work may be charitably described as unremittingly ecocidal, would probably slow the destruction not much more than to write them a letter. Neither unique nor alone, Gorton and Craig are merely tools for enacting ecocide, as surely as are dams, corporations, chainsaws, napalm and nuclear weapons. If someone were to kill them, others would take their places. The genocidal and ecocidal programs originating specifically from the damaged psyches of Gorton and Craig would die with them, but the shared nature of the impulses within the culture would continue full-force, making the replacement as easy as buying a new hoe.

Hitler, too, was elected as legally and "democratically" as Craig and Gorton. Hitler, too, manifested his culture's death urge brilliantly enough to capture the hearts of those who voted him into power and to hold the loyalty of the millions who actively carried out his plans. Hitler, like Craig and Gorton, like George Weyerhaeuser and other CEOs, didn't act alone. Why, then, do I discern a difference between them?

The current system has already begun to collapse under the weight of its ecological excesses, and here's where we can help. Having transferred our loyalty away from our culture's illegitimate economic and governmental entities and to the land, our goal must be to protect, through whatever means possible, the human and nonhuman residents of our homelands. Our goal, like that of a demolition crew on a downtown building, must be to help our culture collapse in place, so that in its fall it takes out as little life as possible.

Discussion presupposes distance, and the fact that we're talking about whether violence is appropriate tells me we don't yet care enough. There's a kind of action that doesn't emerge from discussion, from theory, but instead from our bodies and from the land. This action is the honeybee stinging to defend her hive; it's the mother grizzly charging a train to defend her cubs; it's Zapatista spokesperson Cecelia Rodriguez saying, "I have a question of those men who raped me. Why did you not kill me? It was a mistake to spare my life. I will not shut up... this has not traumatized me to the point of paralysis." It's Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, murdered by the Nigerian government at the urging of Shell, whose last words were, "Lord, take my soul, but the struggle continues!" It's those who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It's Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Geronimo. It's salmon battering themselves against concrete, using the only thing they have, their flesh, to try to break down that which keeps them from their homes.

I don't believe the question of whether to use violence is the right one. Instead, the question should be: Do you sufficiently feel the loss? So long as we discuss this in the abstract, we still have much to lose. If we begin to feel in our bodies the immensity and emptiness of what we lose daily-intact natural communities, hours sold for wages, childhoods lost to violence, women's capacity to walk unafraid-we'll know precisely what to do.

Derrick Jensen: Endgame (Part 1)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6557057252892383895#docid=8649250863235826256

Derrick Jensen: Endgame (Part 2)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6557057252892383895&ei=qo2TS4ORGYjW-AaXmu3iAg&q=Derrick+Jensen%3A+Endgame+Part+two#

Earth: A Wake Up Call For Obama Nation

http://www.pressaction.com/news/weblog/earth

[snippet]

Derrick Jensen is the acclaimed author of thirteen books, including, A Language Older Than Words, and The Culture of Make Believe, and Endgame. Author, teacher, activist, small farmer, and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, he has been hailed as the philosopher poet of the environmental movement. Writes Publishers Weekly, “Jensen paints on a huge canvas an emotionally compelling and devastating critique of the intellectual, psychological, emotional and social structure of Western culture.” His premise is as profound as it is persistent: industrial civilization is inherently unsustainable. It will always require violence to biotic and human communities. And it will create a culture where trauma is normalized, where living beings become objects, and where the only relationship left is one of domination.

Jensen weaves together history, philosophy, environmentalism, economics, literature and psychology to produce a powerful argument and a passionate call for action. He guides us toward concrete solutions by focusing on our most primal human desire: to live on a healthy earth overflowing with uncut forests, clean rivers, and thriving oceans that are not under the constant threat of being destroyed. Jensen’s writing has been described as “breaking and mending the reader’s heart” (Publishers Weekly). He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine, among many others. He holds a degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, a degree in mineral engineering physics from the Colorado School of Mines, and has taught at Eastern Washington University and Pelican Bay State Prison. He has packed university auditoriums, conferences, and bookstores across the nation, stirring them with revolutionary spirit.

Awards And Acclaim

2008: Named a “visionary” as one of Utne Reader magazine’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World. 2008: Grand Prize winner, Eric Hoffer Book Award for Thought to Exist in the Wild, Derrick Jensen, Photographs by Karen Tweedy-Holmes. 2006: Named "Person of the Year" by Press Action for the publication of Endgame. 2003: The Culture of Make Believe was one of two finalists for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. 2000: Hackensack, NJ, Record declared A Language Older Than Words its best book of the year. 2000: Language was nominated for Quality Paperback Book Club's New Vision Award. 1998: Second Prize in the category of small budget non-profit advertisements, as determined by the Inland Northwest Ad Federation, for the first ad in the "National Forests: Your land, your choice" series. 1995: Critics' Choice for one of America's ten best nature books of 1995, for Listening to the Land: Conversations About Nature, Culture, and Eros.

Press Action Awards 2006

http://www.pressaction.com/news/weblog/full_article/awards12292006//

Press Action presents its second annual “Press Action Awards,” which track achievements of reporters, authors and commentators in the print, broadcast and online communities.

Press Action Person Of The Year

The recipient of this award was never in doubt. Derrick Jensen’s Endgame, released in late spring, was the best work of nonfiction in 2006. Given the significance of its subject matter and the urgency of Jensen’s message, Endgame is the most important book of the decade and could stand as the must-read book of our lifetimes. But be careful. The book is likely to send you into periods of despondency over the bleak future of the planet. But Jensen explains that if enough of us stand up and work together to fight the fascists, the crash won’t be as devastating. And the long struggle will eventually result in an explosive renewal of all forms of life on the planet.

Myspace

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=103950896&blogId=213895480

Blogger wrote:

When I went to the poorly attended Environmental Writers Conference in 2004, the speakers were ex-environmental journalists who said that they lost their jobs because there were no happy endings, only readers who wanted to know how they could get their 'piece of nature' before civilization entirely took it over. Everyone I speak to in SoCal is looking to get out and away from the 'density issue' not understanding that wherever they go, they will bring the density issues with them.

Congratulations on the award, I am still a couple of books behind and I can't say that I'm eager to read 'Endgame' but I know I must. (I still haven't recovered from 'The Culture of Make Believe' but I think that's the whole point!)

VF

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ao
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right.

Paul,

Your messages would carry more weight and (for me) be more understandable if they were a bit more succinct and focused.  You covered a lot of territory above that was all over the map and therefore, with all due respect, I'm not sure exactly what your point was.  I get the sense you're against one stating an honest opinion.

I stand by my original comments.  The violence inherent in Derrick Jensen's quote above says it all. 

Since you appear to be knowledgeable of his writings, could you define how a "traditional" or "natural" "community" differs from "civilization"?  It might clarify matters for me.   

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation
ao wrote:

The violence inherent in Derrick Jensen's quote above says it all.

That constitutes a full and comprehensive understanding of the man does it? An opening salvo to draw people into an article piece, written over eleven years ago, rewards all future writing's of the author into disrepute? Further, as for the original article being posted, it had bearly been seen by ten people before you trashed it with your post.

I can only hope that the 90% of people reading this thread who don't post at all will actually gain something useful from it.

VF

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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation

Hi Paul,

In your research on Derrick Jensen, did you discover how he actually lives his life and what he consumes (his lifestyle)? An admittedly cursory look at the main sections of his web site gave me one message: Derrick is a capitalist, selling his products and striving to make a good living. I am prepared to be and hope I am wrong on this cursory impression so that Derrick's advocacy is based on his principled practice and not his use of the system he so decries for his own gain.

Excelsior,

Septimus

 

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ao
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation
Vanityfox451 wrote:

An opening salvo to draw people into an article piece, written over eleven years ago, rewards all future writing's of the author into disrepute? Further, as for the original article being posted, it had bearly been seen by ten people before you trashed it with your post.

Paul,

You wrote those words of his.  I didn't.  If the few words that I wrote causes the importance of his ideas to crumble in the minds of those who read them, what does that say about the validity of what he has to say?  If you believed in what he said, I would think you would have far more faith in the ability of his words to stand up to scrutiny.  As we know, folks on here are grown-up and intelligent and can render their own opinions.  And that's what I did.  YMMV.

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation

Septimus,

A series of question's based on how to gain success with expressing EnergyEnvironmental and Economic issue's and being heard: -

Does Dr Martenson have funding from this site?

 Is he good at what he does and does it pay him to gain financial comfort from it?

Could he have flown recently to the UK, with connecting flights to Scotland and back onto Bristol at the other end of the country, taking in enroute The Houses of Parliament for a lecture circuit without being successful in financing it?

Could he have taken in fourteen days of travel so that he could 'Press The Flesh'' with the Capitalist Machine and get his work publicised and out there in the public domain without financing it?

I hardly believe we would be writing here right now if it weren't for him using a vast portion of his earnings from being paid an excellent wage as Consultant In Business Development and Strategies for Pfizer Inc, or Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation until 2005 ...

[link]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Martenson

... without financing the whole thing from the 'ill gotten gains' of Capitalism or, alternatively, living in a tin shack peddling all his might on a generator just to power the computing for this website ...

VF

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DrKrbyLuv
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation

The premise seems to be that people are unable to manage themselves and are by nature (no pun intended) bad stewards of the planet.

It is easy to find ample evidence that abuses are taking place on a wholesome basis and our society is close to dysfunctional.  The people are culpable but they are minor players.  We are ruled by unaccountable and unelected oligarchs that see us as slaves. If humanity is to move forward, it will be when the people wake up and remove the yoke of debt slavery.  

Industry is not the problem as it is simply a tool.  I think most people are moral and law abiding and they live their lives with a going concern to protect freedom, resources and the environment for their children, grandchildren, etc. 

The constant propaganda seeks to divide the people into competitive camps to eliminate popular mandates and brew distrust.  The brainwashing is working extremely well as the majority are totally confused and ignorant of the truth.

Larry

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation
ao wrote:

If the few words that I wrote causes the importance of his ideas to crumble in the minds of those who read them, what does that say about the validity of what he has to say?

That is the question you should ask of yourself about the psychology of how forums work ... YMMV ...

VF

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation

Twaddle, rubbish, and gossip is what people want, not action.. . .

The secret of life is to chatter freely about all one wishes to do

and how one is always being prevented—and then do nothing.

Soren Kierkegaard

 

 

Soren Kierkegaard wrote:

Twaddle, rubbish, and gossip is what people want, not action; that is what they think interesting. In Aus meinem Leben Goethe relates that The Sorrows of Wvrther created a great sensation and after that time, he says, he never again knew the peace and obscurity which he had known before, because he was drawn into all kinds of relationships and friendships. How interesting and exciting small talk is ! Nothing would have been easier than to have prevented that if Goeth had really had the courage, had he genuinely loved ideas more than aquanintances. Anyone with Goethe's powers could easily have kept people away. But in fact, soft and sensitive as he was, he did not wish it but he likes to relate it as a story. People like to hear about it because it relieves them from action. If someone were to get up and preach, saying : once, in my early youth I had faith, but then I grew busy in the world, made many acquaintances, was knighted, and since that time I have never really had time to collect my thoughts, people would find the sermon very touching and would enjoy listening to it. If one wishes to succeed, the secret of life is to chatter freely about all one wishes to do and how one is always being prevented, and then do nothing.

VF

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Re: The Unsustainability of Civilisation

This is huge.  I must join in... several times (or more).

Civilization consists in frustrating nature is a notion I encountered in a book quite a while ago.  It stayed with me because I wondered why it had to be that way.  Eventually, I thought of things like terraced slopes that keep soil from moving downhill as it would because of rain impact, and succession-blocking moves.

Not long ago, it struck me that frustrating nature implies not destroying it.  To be frustrated, nature must exist!

Maybe civilization isn't the ultimate problem.  Maybe it's confusion, as John Lennon believed.

Maybe fossil fuels are responsible for much, but not all, of the confusion

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