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== * Valis the Opera ==
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== * Derrick Jensen ==
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**[Meme:Star_Nonviolent_Civil_Disobedience Star Nonviolent Civil Disobedience]
=== * interview 1/6 Maximum Leverage ===
I mean I hate to be a contrarian but I don't think our primary culpability for the destruction of the natural world comes through what we consume, I think our primary culpability comes by not stopping the system that's destroying the planet, and there's a few directions that I can go with that. One of them is, um, people sometimes talk about voting with your dollars and hey, that's an extraordinary statement about how um, bankrupt the so-called democracy that we live in is when people realize the elections themselves are shams and so they talk about well you can vote with your dollars but that's just as much a sham for a bunch of reasons. One of them is that those of us who are not attempting to destroy things will always be at a sever disadvantage when it comes to money and i can show that in a couple ways, one is, first off, what is production within in this culture? Production is the.. turning of the living into the dead, it's the turning of.. living force into 2x4s it's the turning of rivers into hydroelectricity which is then used to convert living mountains into *boxside into beer cans and that's what production is and that process-
...back to um, those of us who would wish to spend with our dollars being at a disadvantage. What happens if I buy, if i make lots of money, and how do I, how do I accumulate a lot of money in a way that's not environmentally destructive because if i actually go out and build something, *I'm within this culture, I'm.. I'm.. I'm harming the natural world. You know, If I g-If I write books, well where does the paper come from? Even if it's purely recycled post-consumer, it still involves a lot of electricity, a lot of water, and all those processes are within the industrial system. The whole system is incredibly destructive. So, I'm not saying that we shouldn't write books or do films or do whatever else we're doing, I'm just saying that, okay, so let's say I just go steal a bunch of money because that would be a way that's not environmentally destructive you know, I sneak into Wal-mart you know, it's great, you know, it's always great to take money from Wal-mart. I sneak into Wal-mart in the middle of the night, oh god, I can't break a window because that might be considered violent by some people, um, but, ah, I go in, I somehow nab some money from Wal-mart or I make a lot of money playing Poker online, because I guess that's not environmentally destructive, except you have to have a computer, um okay so let's say I get a million dollars and I sent it aside, well, I just basically lost my whole pile and I've gotta go back to Wal-mart and take a bunch more money in order to get another million dollars to protect more land. But let's say instead someone accumulates a million dollars somehow and they buy a bunch of land because they wanna deforest it. And they now can cut down all the trees and they've made 5 million dollars and now they can buy 5 million dollars worth of land, and then they can do it again and again and again. The point is if you're attempting to use money in a good direction, um, it ends up being a hole. I'm not saying we shouldn't I'm just saying that we will always be at a disadvantage that way. That's one reason we can't vote with our dollars. Another reason is, I was doing the math a couple years ago, I actually fly a lot because I do a lot of talks and, so somebody could say "Well you know, you're responsible for, for United Airlines staying in business." Which is a question in any case um, United Airlines staying in business is a question. And so I actually did the math and found out how much I spend, remember once again I fly quite a bit, and compare that with their total revenues, and my total input was like, I don't remember what it was, it was like 1/9 billionth. So yeah, I'm responsible for 1/9 billionth of united Airlines staying in business and that's.. not.. a.. That's not a lot of leverage. When I t-when I think and I talk about stopping the destructiveness, I want to try to find ways that have the most leverage possible. I want to leverage my power. Because we who are opposing empire and we who are opposing the destruction of the natural world don't at this point have the luxury of just using naked force, um, the federal government has enough resources at its disposal that it can just have people go in with guns everywhere and, um, use overwhelming force. I just read the other day that the um, United States military is outspending the insurgents in, or the resistance, in Iraq by I think it's 128,000 to 1. For every 128,000 dollars the- for every dollar that the insurgents, insurgents resistance spent, that's, the United States government sends 128,000. Um, which is very very short lever from their perspective.
One is, how can we find ways to leverage our power? Leverage our efforts, and I mean I think that, that certainly um, you know minimizing ones expenditures is a good thing to do on it's own. But that's the biggest leverage, lever i can think of. And It's like Ward Churchill says we also have to remember that, that social change, I mean I'm sorry, we also have to remember that personal change doesn't equal social change. We could all become vegans and, or all of us who care could become vegans and this culture would still be destroying
=== * interview 2/6 Pathology of the Personal ===
I got into a big argument with some guy A few years ago because he was saying that because I use toilet paper I'm just as responsible for deforestation as the CEO of Weyerhauser, and that seemed nonsensical to me but that's something that we that so many of us do all the time is we take responsibility for actions that are not our own and he was saying go ask a tree this. So I did, I asked a tree you know in am my as culpable? And the tree said look you are an animal you consume things, get over it. And then I realized yes I am actually culpable for deforestation but not because I use toilet paper, I'm culpable for deforestation because I consume the flesh of a tree. But I don't fulfill my end of the bargain by stopping Weyerhaeuser so what I need to do is I need to stop Weyerhaeuser.
One of the things that abused children often do Is because they're in an entirely uncontrollable situation they will attempt to control whatever they can and so if I can merely make it so the dishes are absolutely spotless I won't be beaten so they may obsessively clean the dishes. If i can make sure that I am perfect then the dreadful wont happen. I perceive a lot of over emphasis on personal lifestyle stuff to be the same response because I mean I've heard so many people say "you know, when I think about deforestation I have to look myself in the face because I'm just as guilty." well, no actually you're not. [http://www.jailhurwitz.com/ Charles Hurwitz] is a lot more guilty, so is the CEO of Weyerhaeuser, so is the CEO of what used to be Georgia Pacific, so is CEO of Sierra Pacific, so is [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Craig Larry Craig], Senator from Idaho, so are the Forest Service employees and so I think we need to not take responsibility for things that aren't our responsibility, and yeah I can cut back on my consumption but if I take that to its end then I should just go ahead and off myself right now and that's not how I can best serve. I can best serve by stopping Weyerhaeuser.
I think it's really important that we don't identify with the system, and that we don't identify with those running the system. Would Tecumseh the Shawnee Indian, would he have said "we're deforesting" I don't think so because he was opposing the forces that were killing his people. And would members of the French or Russian or Danish or German- well German let's drop them off, would members of the French or Russian or Norwegian or Yugoslavian resistance have said in World War 2 "gosh you know, we're, we're killing the Jews, we're the p-you know conquering Europe." no, they knew who their enemies were. And I think- a lot of people say "gosh Derrick you're so decisive" but the truth is the division is already there and the planet's being killed, are you for it or are you against it?
And so there, I think it's really important to say "I am not the US government. I am not the CEO, I'm not the corporations, I'm not the CEO of the Corporations." either one. so, I am opposed to them. and does this mean that you don't consume anything? Once again I try and enter into that relationship I take responsibility for what I can. I didn't create car culture, I didn't create the oil economy. its my job to shut both of them down and sure I can drive as little as possible, but I can look for other levers too.
=== * interview 3/6 Whats Your Threshold ===
...or here's a great thing too, that it's often said that the ability to recognize patterns is one of the signs of intelligence. So I'm going to list a pattern here and let's see if we can recognize it in less than 5 or 6 thousand years. When you think of the plains and hillsides of Iraq is the first thing that you think of Cedar forests so thick that sunlight never touches the ground? That's how they were. The first written myth of this culture is Gilgamesh going in and deforesting those hills to make cities. When you think of the Arabian peninsula is the first thing that you think of Oak forests? That's what it used to be. Let's move a little bit West and you get the Cedars of Lebanon, and they still have one on their flag. I never can remember if it was Plato or Aristotle, I think it might have been Plato who was commenting on how deforestation was destroying the springs and rivers in Greece. And I'm sure those in power said "Well, we need to study it a bit longer first, to make sure there's a connection." Greece was heavily forested, Italy was heavily forested, North Africa was heavily forested. You know this culture has been deforesting. Any way of life that's based on the use of non-renewable resources and based on the hyper-exploitation of renewable resources, so-called. Any way of life that percieves the world around them as consisting of resources and not beings and communities to enter into reciprocal relationships with is going to destroy its landbase. This culture has been destroying its landbase for the last 6,000 years. That's not very smart on a finite planet. And once again we can pick whatever measure you'd like, whether it's migratory songbirds, sturgens, deforestation, i mean pick a measure. Things are.. We're really fucked. (cut) You know, give me a threshold, give me a threshold which you'l finally call this an apocolypse. Give me a threshold, more importantly, at which you'll finally fight back. What's it going to take? Will it take the death of salmon entirely? Maybe it'll take the death of Polar bears. Maybe it'll take the death of whatever your favorite migratory songbird. Or how 'bout, maybe it will take, I used to have this sort of hobby of asking people if they like their jobs and 90% say no. What does it mean when the vast majority of the people spend the vast majority of their waking hours doing things they don't want to do? How crazy is that? So, you know, you're working a 40 hour a week job, that you don't really like, so is that enough for you to start resisting? When it's your own life? Or how about this, how about, rates of cancer are just going through the roof. And so when I have talks, when i ask people, "How many of you have had someone you love get killed by cancer?" 70 to 80 percent say yes. So it's like okay, hm. You're not going to fight back when your lover dies of cancer? When your mother, your father, your child? Your brother, your sister, your best friend? You're not going to fight back when you get cancer yourself, in your own body? I have Crohn's disease which is a disease of civilization. Give me a threshold. (cut) ...that one of the smartest things the Nazis did was they co-opted rationality and they co-opted hope by making it so that every step of the way it was in the Jew's rational best interest to not resist. So would you rather get an ID card or would you rather resist and possibly get killed? Want to move to a ghetto or resist and possibly get killed? Want to get on a cattle car or resist and possibly get killed? Every step of the way they're faced with that choice, it's a brilliant move on the Nazis part. You want to take a shower or you want to resist and possibly get killed? There's a very interesting thing about it which is that the Jews who participated in the Warsaw ghetto uprising had a much better rate of survival than those who went along, which is something we all need to keep in mind over the next 10 years. But my point is, the same thing's happening today, that's why I say give me a threshold. Because okay, do I want to really try to do something to help the salmon, or do I want to, and possibly get killed, or put in prison for the rest of my life, do I want to really oppose the system or is it okay for the salmon to go? Okay how about the lamphreys, how 'bout the sturgen, bow 'bout the polar bears? How 'bout your brother from cancer? That's why at some point we just have to say, enough is enough. (cut) I mean if I'm going to be in a concentration camp I would much rather be one of the priviledged ones than not. If I'm going to be in this death camp system, sure, honestly, I would rather not be- there are more slaves in the world today than came across in the middle passage- and I would much rather be in the position I am then be a slave. I would much rather not be starving to death. I am incredibly priviledged and it's my responsibility to use that priviledge to bring down the whole system. Otherwise I'm not worth shit.
=== * endgame hour 1 ===
Are there any undercover feds here? Raise your hand please? S'worth a try. Um, okay well if there are, then I have actually a message for you. Well the first part is fuck you. Um, *applause* And the second part is that when he was on trial for his life in Jerusalem, part of Adolf Eichmann's defense was that no one had ever told him that what he was doing is wrong, and I want it a matter of public record that what you are doing is wrong, and I plan on seeing you held accountable.
I don't know if you know this but the first version of the movie Star Wars was uh written by environmentalists. The first version was not the same as the way the version that-that we've all seen ended up. Is there anybody in here that doesn't know how the movie Star Wars goes? Oh that's pretty damn cool. There's actually one person here who doesn't know how Star Wars goes. No, that's great. That's a very good thing. Um, th-I saw that movie, gosh, I saw that movie when I was like 16 or something, which is about the right time to see it, um. I saw it again recently and god it's terrible. Um, but back then I was like "Oh God, the acting is so good!" and um, I really liked it a lot. I wasn't one of those people who saw it you know like 1,000 times or anything, I mean for one thing I wasn't that much of a nerd, and for the other I was way too busy playing Dungeons & Dragons. *laughter* um, and, um, but for those of you, for the one person in here that doesn't know how the movie goes, the way Star Wars goes is: at the end of the movie there's, the Empire has built this giant Death Star that is a machine that's capable of destroying entire planets which is a wonderful metaphor for the whole dominant culture and um then the Rebels find a way to blow up the Death Star by dropping a ah torpedo through a thermal exhaust port, and no I'm really not a nerd um, so Luke Skywalker ah uses the force to get past all the TIE fighters and then he drops the torpedo down the thermal exhaust port and it blows up the whole Death Star and that's pretty much the end of the movie. Um, but the first version was not written by Lucas and company, the first version, the first draft of it was actually written by environmentalists, and so it's, it's slightly, just slightly a different movie. Well for one thing it's not called Star Wars, because that's so violent, instead it was called Star Nonviolent-civil-disobedience. um, And um, the-instead of actually blowing up the Death Star, the uh, the Rebels use other tactics to slow the intergalactic march of Empire. For example, this is, I actually have in my hands a very rare first draft here, anyway, For example they set up programs for people on planets about to be destroyed to produce hemp hacky sacs and gourmet coffee for sale to inhabitants of the Death Star. Audience members also discover that there are plans afoot to encourage loads of troopers and other citizens of the Empire to take eco-tours of doomed planets, the purpose will be to show to one and all that these planets are important to the Empire and so should not be destroyed. In a surprise move that will get viewers to the edges of their seats other groups of Rebels file lawsuits against the Empire attempting to show that the environmental impact statement that Darth Vader was required to file failed to adequately support his decision that blowing up the planet would cause no significant impact. *laughter* Viewers will thrill to learn of plans to boycott items produced by corporations* that have Darth Vader on the board of directors and they'll leap to their feet worldwide when they see bags full of letters written directly to Mr. Vader himself asking that he please not blow up any more planets. And scribbled in the margins, a note from one of the screenwriters that says "For accuracy's sake we show examples of these letters, it's imperative that all letters to Mr. Vader be respectful and courteous, that they stress the need to find cooperative solutions to the differences between the Rebels and the Empire. Under no circumstances should the letters be such that they would alienate or anger Mr. Vader. If the letters upset Mr. Vader the writers letter campaign to the Grand Moff Tarkin will certainly fail as well. Other plans include sending petitions and filing lawsuits." Now, we all know that that would be sufficient not only to bring the empire to it's knees but to make a damn fine and exciting movie. The thing is there's more. Thousands of renegade Rebels, unhappy with what they perceive as toadying on the part of the mainstream Rebels, decide in a scene guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of even the most cold hearted theater goers, to stand on the planets about to be destroyed, link arms and sing "Give Peace a Chance". They send DVDs of that to Darth Vader and his boss the Grand Moff Tarkin to whom they also send wave after wave of love and kindness. a few of the Rebels sneak aboard the Death Star and they lock themselves down to various pieces of equipment and then stirring debates are held on screen amongst those Rebels as to whether they should voluntarily surrender upon approach of the troopers of whether they should remain locked down to the end, and in a brilliant and brave touch of authenticity the Rebels are never able to come to consensus. *laughter* Um, okay once inside the Death Star, there's a splinter group breaks off from those about to lock themselves down and they rush down these hallways and they somehow avoid all the troopers and they burn a couple of transporters and they use chemicals to etch Galaxy Liberation Front on the walls of the Death Star. And then there's a group that breaks off from them and they sneak through all the hallways and they get past the troopers and they make it, they actually make it all the way to Darth Vader's headquarters and Darth Vader is all by himself and they sneak up behind him and they hit him with a vegan cream pie. The producers decided to take that scene out because it was too close to another movie they were developing at the same time which was called The Plot To Pie Hitler. Um, *one man laughing* thank you for that laugh. Um, *more laughing* I been tellin' that joke for the last 6 months and this is the only audience that's laughed at it yet so thank you, you obviously have very good taste. Um, um, anyway near the end of the movie there's a debate held among the Rebels, and that was actually a problem I had with this particular screenplay is it was a bit too much debate and not quite enough action *clears throat* So as the Death Star looms directly overhead a few of the Rebels actually advocate picking up weapons to fight back and they're generally shouted down by the pacifist Rebels who argue that attacking those who run the Death Star is just another example of the Empire's harmful philosophy coming in by the back door they say that the Rebels who want to fight back are simple being co opted by the need to need to control things. "If we want to change Darth Vader," they say "We must first become that change ourselves." "To change Darth Vader's heart we must-- We must above all else have compassion for Darth Vader and remember that he too was once a child." An one writer put in the margins, "Excellent, that will be sure to moisten the cheeks of sensitive people everywhere." And he didn't mention whether those tears would be of frustration. Um, finally Leia, Luke, Han, Chewbac and a couple of robots show up and they tell the other's they've found a way to blow up the whole Death Star and the rest of the Rebels, including those who had previously been in favor of surgical strikes aimed at removing Darth Vader are horrified. They say, voices firm behind the sobs "You can't blow up the Death Star, what about the janitors?" They say "You, Leia, Luke, Han & Chewbacca are heartless and cruel." And so in the exciting final scene in the environmentalist version there's a *(?)scalpel breaks out between Leia, Luke, Han, Chewbacca and the two robots on one side, and the pacifists on the other, and the pacifists chase them from the room and from the film (which is not a big deal since they were minor characters anyway) Um, and so then what happens is the Death Star looms closer and closer and audience members just chewing their fingernails waiting to see whether the letters and petitions and lawsuits work their magic. And um, and viewers see the lasers inside the Death Star warming up to destroy the planet, and then the lasers they glow this hellish red, and then you see the planet, and then you see the Death Star, you see the planet, you see the Death Star, then you see the planet and then you see "pssw" this little spark of light, and that's of course the environmentalists getting away before the planet gets blown up. Um, and then the planet of course gets blown up. And then the final shot of the movie which reveals what a complete triumph this was for the Rebels, is a still showing an article on the lower left of page 43 of the New Empire Times that devotes a full three sentences to the destruction of the planet. So yeah! We got some press!
That's the end of the story. Um, so I did a talk in Asheville North Carolina a couple years ago, and during the Q&A somebody asked "How many environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?" and I said "I'll bite. How many?" and he said "It wasn't a riddle, I was just asking you." and I'm like "That's not now this is supposed to work." And that night I went back to my motel and I'm really fixating on that question, which says a lot more about my social life than I want it to, and I finally came up with an answer which is "How many environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?" and the answer is 10. 1 to write the letter a light bulb requesting that it change, 4 to circulate online petitions, 1 to file a lawsuit demanding that it change, 1 to send the light bulb love and kindness knowing that that's the only way real change occurs, 1 to accept the light bulb precisely the way it is clear in the knowledge that to not accept another is to do great harm to oneself, 1 to write a book about how and why the light bulb needs to change, and finally 1 to smash the fuckin' light bulb because we all know it's never gonna change. *laughter* This by the way is how I know not gonna have a revolution, because if people will pay for water bottled in plastic they'll suffer any indignity. So I was a long time grassroots environmental activist, and as a creature living in the thrashing endgame of civilization I am intimately aquatinted with the landscape of loss, and have grown accustomed to carrying the daily weight of despair. I've walked clearcuts that wrap around mountains and drop into valleys and climb ridges to fragment watershed after watershed, and I've sat silent near empty streams that two generations ago were lashed into whiteness by uncountable salmon coming home to spawn and die. A few years ago i began to feel pretty apocalyptic, but I hesitated to use that word. In part because of those cartoons I've seen of crazy penitents carrying "The End Is Near" signs, in part because of the power of the word itself, apocalypse. I didn't want to use it lightly. And then a friend and fellow activist said to me "So Derrick, what's it gonna take for you to finally use that word? Will it take the death of runs of salmon so large that people were afraid to put their boats in the water for fear that they'd capsize, so large that horses were afraid to get into the water, so large that you could hear them for miles before you'd see them, maybe it'll take the death of flocks of passenger pigeons so large that they would darken the sky for days at a time, rolling thunder moving 60 miles per hour, maybe it'll take the death of flocks of Eskimo *(?)krulus almost as large, maybe it'll take the turning of the sea off San Diego into a dead zone, maybe it'll take the turning of the Sea of Mexico into a dead zone, maybe it'll take dioxin in every mother's breast milk, maybe it'll take global warming, maybe it'll take the hole in the ozone, you know, give me a specific threshold Derrick, a specific point at which you'll use that word."
So, I want to talk tonight about Endgame, the book and the reality, and the way- that book really began from a fundamental question of "Do you believe that this culture is going to undergo a voluntarily transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living?" And, you know, I've asked that question of thousands of people and nobody ever says yes. Oh one guy at one of my talks raised his hand, everybody looks at him and he says "Oh, voluntary. No, of course not." And, um, so the next question is if you don't believe the culture is going to undergo a transformation into a sane and stable way of living, and you care about the landbase where you live, what does that mean for your strategy and for your tactics? And the answer is we don't really know, and one of the reasons that we don't know is that we don't talk about it and one of the reasons that we don't talk about it is that we're all so busy pretending that we have hope. And I'm going to do some serious hope bashing later, it's one of my favorite things to do. Um, so that's really what I want to- I mean that's really what the book is about is if you don't believe the culture is going to undergo a voluntary transformation, what do you do? And so I think what I would like to do is um, is go through the premises of that book. And one of the reasons- one of the things I've done in this, in Endgame, is I've put my premises in boldface in the front of my book, and one of the reasons I did that is because one of the first rules of propaganda is if you can slide your premises by people, you've got them. About Hitler it was said from insane premise to monstrous conclusion Hitler was coldly, icily logical. So, he would say, "What are we gonna do about the Jewish problem?" Gosh Adolf great question, what are we gonna do about it? But see what he's done is he's slid the premise by you that there's a Jewish problem we have to do something about. Or similarly you hear some talking head on television say "So how can we make the US economy grow?" Good question! Well, okay some of the premises, A) We want the US economy to grow, B) We want the US economy to exist, C) Who the hell's "we"? And so like I said I didn't want to do that, I didn't want to slide premises by people, and so the structure of this talk is I want to go by some of the premises for that book.
And the first premise is that um industrial civilization is not and civilization itself, but especially industrial civilization Is not and can never be sustainable, um, civilization is not and can never be sustainable. A few years ago I was riding in a car with a friend of mine Who we were stuck in traffic and I was just making conversation and I Said so George if you could live at any level of technology that you wanted what would it be? And George can sometimes the kind of a curmudgeon And he was not a good mood And he said Derek that's a really stupid question We can fantasize whatever we want but the truth is there's only one level Of technology that sustainable and that's the stone age And we're going to be there again someday and the only question is really what's Going to be left of the world when we get there It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that any way of living that's based on te use of nonrenuable rescources won't last. In fact it takes anybody but a rocket scientist to figure that out. *laughter* I mean if your way, oh let's back off for a second, I want to go a different direction, we'll come back to that. Before we go any further it's like okay, that's nice, what's civlization? And you know I've been bashing civilization for about 15 years now and so i figured I'd probably better finally define it. And the definition that I'm using is that civilization is a way of life that's characterized by the growth of cities and that's defensable both linguisitcally and historically. Well that's nice Derrick but what's a city? And a city, I've defined, is a collection of people living in numbers large enough ot require the importation of rescources. And what that means is the Tolowa, on whos land I now live, were not civilized. They didn't require the importation of rescources, they didn't live in cities they lived in villiages, camps, and once against they didn't require the importation of rescources. They would eat salmon and clams and huckleberry and *(?)solao and salmon and salmon and salmon and salmon, and then usually through the winter they would eat a lot of salmon. Um, and the Tolowa lived there for 12,500 years if you believe the myths of science and if you believe the myths of the Tolowa then they've lived there since the beginning of time. And this culture's been there for 180 years, 170 years and the air is gettin pretty trashed. And oh it's so funny, I've got to tell you this, I did this talk at Princeton last spring, and during the Q&A this guy says "You know, you say the Tolowa lived there for 12,000 years but that doesn't mean that they were sustainable." I asked him why, and he actuall said this, he said "Because we don't have quantitative analysis showing," yeah it's like we can just stop there (video skip) same number of salmon now as there were 12,000 years ago and I said
"Okay, if 12,500 years isn't long enough for you, what if they were there for 20,000?" "No." "Okay, 30,000?" "No." I said "Give me a number! You want quantitative analysis, 100,000 is that long enough?" and I said "What about the San bushmen of West Nile South Africa? They evolved in place. So they and their evolutionary predesesors were there like 2 million years, 3 million years, is that long enough?" He's like, "We don't have the data." Anyway, two things happen as soon as you require the importation of rescources. One of them is that your way of living can never be sustainable, because if you require the importation of resources it means that you've denuded the landscape of that particular resource, and as your city grows it will denude an ever larger area. And denuding the landscape of a resource harms the landbase. It's very interesting, I know we've all been told that natural selection is based on competition and that it's all just a fierce battle for who can be the meanest and grab the most resources most quickest and exploit the most resources the most thoroughly, but short of showing how stupid our discourse is, I can disprove that in once sentence, if you give me a couple of semicolons, and that's Those creatures who survived in the long run have survived in the long run, semicolon, you don't survive in the long run by exploiting your surroundings, semicolon, you survive in the long run by actually making your habitat better. What a concept. So anyway, two things happen as soon as you require the importation of resources, one is that you can never be sustainable which means that we could all become the best little natural capitalists in the world and it doesn't matter, as long as there's this fundamental system in place it's not going to be sustainable. And the other thing it means is that your way of life must be based on violence, because if you require the importation of resources, trade will never be sufficiently reliable, because if you require the importation of resources and the people in the next watershed arn't going to trade you for it, you're going to take it. Which means we could all become junior bodhisattvas and it wouldn't matter, the US military would still have to be huge because how else are they going to get access to our oil that just happens to be under somebody elses land? If they require that oil they're going to take it. So those two things are really fundamental. I want to go even further, I want to say that not only is a way of life that's based on the use, oh no we're going to jump back now, because I've been talking about resources, I want to go back to what I was saying before. Another way to look at this is any way of life that's based on the use of non-renewable resources also won't last. It doesn't matter what resource you're talking about, I mean you would think that if you have a way of life that's based on the use of. I don't know.. let's just choose a random example.. um.. oil. You would think that you would start to consider what's going to happen when this non-renewable resource runs out. That, once again, just by definition any way of life that's based on the use of non-renewable resources won't last. And I would go a step further and I would say that any way of life that's based on the hyper-exploitation of renewable resources won't last. So if every year there are fewer salmon return than the year before, eventually you're going to run out and everybody knows this except for michael sissenwine who is in charge of one of the division of the National Marine Fisheries Service and his response when learning that 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone was to say "That's not a problem, we have to ask what level of decline is reasonable or sustainable" *laughter* Exactly. And so basically in two or three sentenes he destroyed the words problem, decline, reasnable, and sustainable. So in any case, if every year there are fewer passenger pigeons return than there were the year before eventually there will be none. If every year there is fewer old growth forests, which once wasn't called old growth forests but was simply called home, then eventually it will be gone. and I'm going to go a step further and i'm going to say that any way of life that's based on the use of resources won't last. because a resource is something there to be used. There's a great line by by a Canadian lumberman "When I look at trees I see dollar bills." And if when I look at trees I see dollar bills, I'm going to treat them one way. I'm going to convert them into dollar bills. If when I look at trees I see trees I'm going to treat them another way. And if when I look at this particular tree I see this particular tree I'm going to treat it differfently still. And it's the same with fish. If when I look at salmon I see dollar bills, I'm going to treat them one way. If when i look at salmon i see salmon i'm going to treat them another way. If when I look at this particular fish i see this particular fish I'll treat it differently still. The same is true also of women. If when I look at women i see orifices i'm going to treat them one way, if when i look at women i see women i'm going to treat them another way, and if when i look at this particular woman i see this particular woman i'm going to treat her differently still. If you percieve another as a resource you're going to use them as opposed to enter into a relationship with them. And I need to be really clear that just because i percieve a fish as a fish that doesn't mean that i can't eat it. I was doing a radio interview in Spokane, Washington several years ago and the interviewer said "You know, Indians exploited salmon too." and I said "No they didn't. They ate them." and he said "What's the difference?" and I said "Well, they gave them respect for the spirit in exchange for the flesh." And I knew that answer was kind of bullshit but I'm a male and so I'm required by law to answer every question that's asked of me. So that afternoon I went out and I sat next to this tree that I had a long relationship with and I asked the tree "What is the fundamental predator/prey relationship?" And the tree gave me the answer right away, which is "If you consume the flesh of anothe, you now take responsibility for the continuation of the others' community." So if I consume the flesh of salmon from the Clamouth river, I now take responsibility for the continuation of the Clamouth river salmon. Everybody knows this, bears know it, *mergansus? know it, newts know it, *mergansus? know that if you consume all the newts in the pond, there won't be any newts in the pond anymore. And we just forget sometimes. And that's the fundamental predator/prey bargain that we have to get into. And I want to say something else about that and then we'll come back together. I got into a big argument with this guy several years ago because he was saying that because I use toilet paper, that I am just as culpable for deforestation as the CEO of Weyerhaeuser. And I knew that was wrong but I couldn't really articulate why and he said "Go ask a tree and he'll tell you." So I went out and asked a tree and the tree said "You're an animal, you consume things, get over it." But it also gave me the other answer which is yes, I am culpable, not becuase I consume the flesh of a tree, I'm culpable because I consume the flesh of a tree without fulfilling my end of the bargain. I'm culpable not because I use toilet paper but because I don't stop Weyerhaeuser from deforestating. And that's a much more serious culpability than simply consuming. So I'm not culpable becuase I consume Clamouth river salmon, I'm culpable because I consume Clamouth river salmon and don't take out the fuckin' iron gate. 26:00
=== * endgame hour 2 ===
bringing down civilisation when i talk about that its not a monolithic act its a billion different acts done by a billion different people and part of my definition and actually my definition of bringing down the system is depriving the rich of the ability to steal from the poor and denying the powerful the ability to destroy the world. ok thats nice derrick but that doesnt alter the fact that there are people that are dependant on this social system which is killing the planet. And this is part of the problem just like any good abusive situation we have been made dependant on the very system that is exploiting us and part of the reason we dont fight back more is cos if your experience is that your water comes froma tap and your food from a grocery source not in your head not in your heart but in your experience that your experience you will fight to the deatht to defend that system that brings you that food and water because your life depends on it and similarly if your water comes from a river and your food from a landbase - people used to drink from rivers how quiant is that? - if your experience is that your water comes from a river and your food from a landbase you will fight to the death to defend that becuase your life depends on it but we have all been so made dependant on this system it becomes really problematical thats really nice derrick but what are you going to do about this? anyway back to the main thing taking down civilisation is not a monolithic act its a billion different acts with a billion different moralities so for example i dont care what your motivation is if you blow up a childrens hospital then that is a atrocity i dont care if your a anarcho primitavist or a member of the us military thats just bad theres just no way to justify blowing up a childerens hospital - oh if your bringing freedom and democracy to a country - which btw i figured out how to listen to gwb speech without going insane - well turn off the volume for one thing - but if your not going to do that another way to do it but actually makes everything perfectly clear is to do a word substitution and i came up with this when they came up with the freedom fries thing when they changed french fries to freedom fries its great all you do is word for word substitution all you do is when gwb says freedom substitute fascism when he says the word democracy substitute the word corporate control so we are bringing freedom and control to iraq damn straight oh i want to say something else too and we will get back to the other dont worry and everyone here by now knows why my books are written in non linear fashion anyway this whole we thing we are bringing freedom and democracy to iraq is just so wierd cos one of the things we need to do is break that identification with the system and with those in power its like this friends of mine called me up not so long ago and said how much longer do you think we will be in iraq? and i said were in iraq? omg i thought we were in northern california? she said ok how much longer do you think our troops are going to be in iraq? holy shit if i tell them what to do will they do it? if i tell them to take out the grand coolie will they do it? and shes like derrick this is why i only call you once every 6 weeks.
Anyway so I dont care what your motivation is you cannot make a moral case for blowing up a childerens hospital thats just an atrocity but on the other hand it would be alomost impossible to make a moral case against taking out cell phone towers and cell phone towers are really nasty on lots of levels they allow the jerk at the next table to yammer on while you eat also they kill between 5 and 50 million migatory songbirds every year cell phone towers do and probably worst of all they put out those electromagnetic waves and you have to wear those alumininum beanies and i always forget which side goes out and if i put the wrong side out it makes the voices get really disturbing oh and i lied to you when i said its almost impossible to make a moral argument about taking out cell phone tower ok i can do it so you get this woman shes driving along late at night all by her self and her car dies hah her car dies get that cars dont die cars cars arnt alive cars conk out its like the cars outside saying hey buddy wait till we get out there and were gonna show you dying anyway her car conks out and it sorta clunks over to the side of the road and she has a cell phone and so she calls 911 and the cop says i will be right out to start your car - go with it- so shes sitting there waiting and she tunrs on the radio and hears that this homocidal maniac is out from the homicidal maniac place i think its called the white house and he has a hook on his arm and he likes to kill women whos cars conk out on the side of the road your older siblings didnt terrorise you with that story as a child? anyway so shes sitting there waiting and the cop shows up and she says show me your hands then he starts the car for her and she pulls away and as she pulls away she hears this clunk and when she gets home she looks at the passenger side door and theres this bloody hook embedded in the door scared me when i was a kid its a logical flaw though why would he embed his hook in the door? thank god that she had a cell phone cos it saved her life thank god no one took out that cell phone tower but see we can just as easily make a case for why we should take out cell phone towers cos this woman is driving along late at night and she decides to call her mother and her mother rushes to the phone cos she doesnt call her mother very often and right as she gets to the phone she trips and breaks her neck and she is able to gasp out call 911 and so the woman calls she has 2 cell phones dialls 911 but then shes driving but shes not holding onto the wheel anymore and the car veers off the road and runs over 3 orphans and runs over the last population of a endangered salamander and then smacks into a tree and the last thing she sees before she passes out is this hook gleaming in the moonlight and the point in so far as there is one is we can make up any hypothetical case we want to keep us from ever doing everything anything and the truth is onbce again that on a real fundamental level you cant make a case against taking down cell phone towers ok thats nice derrick but the truth is that when this culture falls apart as this culture falls apart a lot of people are going to die its like ok my next answer is who are we talking about if we are talking about salmon people they are like bring that fucker down the polar bear people are like yup prarie dog people are like yip yip yip what about subsistance farmers? subsistance farmers around the world its like i asked my friend arnarama nibtal former executive director of food first if the people of india would be better if the global economy dissapeared tomorrow and she said of course and some of the examples she gave is that former graneries in india are now exporting dog food and tulips to europe so people are starving to death right now because where they got their food is now making cash crops and of course this happens the world over so it depends who we are talking about the indiginous people the traditional indigineous people around the world would be better off immediatly the sunsistance farmers better off immediatly the landless being forced off their land better off immediatly rural poor the world over better off immediatly what is it i am going to make up this number but its like 30% of the people in the world have never used electricity 30 - 40% some high percentage like that so they are not going to be bothered one bit by the removal of the electrical infrastructure so the rural poor many of them would be better off immediatley the urban poor would be well the rural rich would be fine they are going to have guns anway but urban poor are fucked they well in one sense in the long run they would be better off cos the system thats exploiting them would be gone but in the short run they would be really bad cos the food is coming into the city but on the other hand you want to talk about instant land reform remove US support for the governing people immediatly and youve got instantaneous land reform so i dont know and then theres the urban rich but fuck them there the problem in the first place anyway thats all nice derrick but thats not really helpful ok heres another part i can gaurentee this is actually more important i can actually gaurentee that a 100% of the problems as this culture collapses are going to be because those in power those who are already destroying the world are going to try and maintain that lifestyle as the world collapses at any moment those in power whatever that means could choose to have a soft landing i mean thats one of my secret fantasys is that suddenly we start using all this clevermness we think we have to actually solve problems instead of making new ones i mean the feds start paying warehouser not to de forest but to reforest i mean i dont fucking care if warehouser still gets the money i dont care about justice in that sense i just want forests they can even give the same goddam subsidies to the same god damned companies and if it was moving in the right direction i wouldnt complain its like we always hear that the world is running out of water we hear that all the time you know people are dying of thirst cos we are running out of water bullshit fucking bullshit goddamn fucking bullshit gearge bush goddamed fucking bullshit the world is not running out of water water is being stolen 90% of the water being used by human beings is used for industry and agriculture its like they always say take shorter showers fuck you know all that does is annoy the people closest to you the same amount of water is used by munincipal human beings as is used for municipal golf courses once again 90% of the water is used for agriculture and industry so people are not running out of water water is being stolen from them and so its like if someone were to take out the glen canyon dam or it were just to collapse on its own i know that if the capitalist press is still around it would bray as one that oh my god the people of the south west are now going to die of thirst but first i would not want to hear one word of complaint as so long as there existed a single irrigated alfalfa field a single irrigated citrus orchard a single golf course so long as las vegas still existed so long as there existed one swimming pool i wouldnt want to hear one word of complaint its like one of the reasons that diane fienstien says that they need to raise the shaster dam and this is a direct quote its californians god given right to water their lawns you cannot argue with that logic except with explosives and the FBI guy is going except with explosives so the point is that we all know the numbers from frances maude lappe on how there is enough food for every one and we could have that soft landing those in power could chose at any moment but thats nice derrick bu that doesnt change the fact that wanting to bring down civilisation is going to kill a lot of people even if those decisions are made by those in power its still going to kill a lot of people and i finally came up with a answer that i am really happy with and i m going to share it with you now - what do you do with the fact that no matter what you do your involved with mass murder? because if your civilised if your part of this system already your hands are blood red its just you dont notice it usually every action within the industrial economy is harmful which is really fucked up too i mean thats another thing thats been stolen from us is the ability to have a fine meal without it being destructive the ability to simply live without knowing that your destroying things by your actions anyway what do you do with the fact that no matter what you do your involved with mass murder? and for now i have got a answer - if youve gotten this far in this book if your something other than entirely insensate then probably agree that civilisation is going to crash whether or not we help bring it about if you dont agree with this then we prbably have nothing to say to each other hey luke van heller got picked up by the cubs thats pretty cool we probably also agree that the crash will be messy we agree further that since industrial civilisation is sytematically dismantling the ecological infratructure of the planet the sooner civilisation comes down whether or not we help it crash the more life will remain afterwards to support both humans and non humans if you agree with all this and if you dont want to dirty your spirituallity and your concsience with the physical work of helping to bring down civilisation and if your primary concern really is for the well being of those humans who will be alive during and immediatly after the crash then given and i repeat this point to empathise it the civilisation is going to come down anyway you need to start preparing people for the crash instead of coming to my talks and attacking me for stating the obvious go rip up asphalt in vacant parking lots to convert them into neighbourhood gardens go teach people how to identify local edible plants even in the city especially in the city so these people wont starve when the proverbial shit hits the fan they can no longer head off to albertsons for groceries set up committies to eliminate or appropratley channel the additional violence that might break out we need it all we need people to take out dams btw did you know that there are 2 million dams in the united states? there are 60 thousand dams over 13 feet tall and 70 000 dams over 6 feet tall which means if we only took out one dam a day of the 70 000 it would take us 200 years to take out all the dams so people say to me god derrick you should be more compramising so i say ok i will compramise 4 dams a day its only going to take 50 years anyway we need people to take out dams and we need people to knock out electrical infrastructures we need people to protest and to chain themselves to trees we also need people working to ensure that as many people as possible are equiped to deal woth the fallout when the collapse comes we need people working to teach others what plants are good to eat what plants are natural antibiotics we need people teaching others how to purify water and how to build shelters all of this can look like supporting traditional local knowladge all of this can look like starting rooftop gardens it can look like planting local varieties and medicinal herbs and it can look like teaching people how to sing the truth is that while i dont believe that building groovy eco villages is going to bring down civilisation when the crash comes im sure to be first in line knocking on their doors asking for food people taking out dams do not have a respionsibility to ensure that people in homes previously powered by hydro know how to cook over a fire they do however have a responsibility to support the people doing that work simillarly the people growing medicinal plants in preparation for the end of civilisation do not have a responsibility to take out dams they do however at the very least have the responsibility to not condem those people that have chosen that work in fact they have a responsibility to support them they especially have a responsibility to not report them to the cops its the same old story the good thing about everything being so fucked up is no matter where you look there is great work to be done do what you love do what you can do what best serves your land base we need it all that doesnt mean that everyone working to take out dams and everyone working to plant medicinal herbs are working towards the same goals it does mean that if they are each should see the importance of each others work further resistance needs to be global acts of resistance are more effective when they are large scale and co ordinated the infrastructure is monolithic and centralised so common tools and techniques can be used to dismantle it in many different places simultaniously if possible by contrast the work of renewal must be local i have a new catch phrase which is dismantle globalaly renew locally oh another catch phrase i have is protect your land base you cant have sex without it anyway to be truly effective acts of survival and livelyhood need to grow from particualr land bases where they will thrive people need to enter into a conversation with each peice of earth and all its human and non human inhabitants that doesnt mean of course that we cant share ideas that one water purifycation technique wont be useful in more than one location it does mean that people in those places need to decide for themselves what will work ~~20:00 mins~~