I first read Endgame in 2008 right when a huge green-washing wave of media began to pick up speed. When I tried to talk about this with most of the mainstream environmentalists, they would either quickly hand wave it off or rudely dismiss me. Some even thought I was crazy for even entertaining Jensen's premises.
It's been eleven years since I first read the twenty premises and I, more or less, hadn't thought about them much in the past six years or so.
I wanted to see what people here thought and felt about them.
Let's just start with the first five:
- Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.
- 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: [From the perspective of those in power, t]he 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.