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Excerpt from Endgame

A Very Good Start (p. 820)

From chapter "Breaking Faith"

I’ve written extensively throughout this book of the need to break people’s identification with civilization—as those who rely on and identify with the processes and artifacts of civilization, who rely on and identify with machines and with the machine social structure—and to help them to remember they are human animals reliant on their landbase. I have written of the importance of identifying with one’s landbase. It’s obviously best if this reidentification can take place through discourse, gentle guidance, and direct personal interactions with wild nature. But the fact remains that cities must not be allowed to continue to steal resources from the countryside. Dams must not be allowed to continue to kill salmon, to kill rivers. Deforesters must not be allowed to continue to deforest. Rapists must not be allowed to continue to rape.

There are, I suppose, at least four generic ways you can get someone to stop doing something. The first is that you can kill the other person. The second is that you can make it physically impossible for this other person to continue. This could happen through incarceration, for example, or also through removing the means the person is using to commit the act. An example of the latter is that it would be almost impossible at this point for those who are killing the oceans to continue at their present rate if they did not have oil to power their ships. Thus, denying them oil would go a long way toward stopping their actions. The third is that you can convince the other person to stop. This can be accomplished through providing rewards for changed behavior. It can be accomplished through teaching better ways. It can be accomplished through threats, backed up by the means and a willingness to enforce them. The fourth is that you can demoralize the other person.

One argument for pacifism, if you recall, is that we should never use violence or sabotage against those in power because they and their servants will hit back hard. As true as this may be, it also only looks at that first act. If you hit them, and hit them again, and keep hitting them, eventually they will grow discouraged. This is precisely the tactic they use to break all of us. It works both ways.

If my electricity goes out I get annoyed. If it happened very often I would get very annoyed. I might even get annoyed enough to start spending some time outside. If it happened even more than that I might begin to no longer be able to feel that I can rely on electricity. And that, my friends, is a very good start.