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Excerpt from Endgame

Fantasy (p. 151)

From chapter "Choices"

Sometimes lying awake at night in bed, I fantasize. I imagine how fun it would be to wrestle with the problems we face if only we weren’t insane, if only the problems really were just technical, if only we could cling even to any remotely feasible, remotely forgivable hope of a soft landing rather than a hard crash, if only our culture were not driven to destroy all life on the planet, if only there were even the slightest chance our culture would undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living.

By now there can be few who do not understand that without massive public subsidies (far larger than total profits) the entire corporate economy would collapse overnight. People pay to deforest the planet, decapitate mountains, decimate oceans, destroy rivers.

Were we to suddenly find ourselves sane in this insane situation, we could easily and immediately shift subsidies. So long as we care neither about justice nor accountability, but merely want to stop the damage, we could subsidize the same corporations to repair damage they’ve already caused. Instead, for example, of the public paying Weyerhaeuser to deforest, as is currently the case, we could pay it to reforest. Not to make tree farms—virtual forests of genetically identical Douglas firs—but to use the inventiveness we talk so much about but rarely seem to use to life-serving ends in order to make life better for the forests and its other members with whom we share our home.

Of course this is a fantasy, as absurd as Fuller’s notion of converting weaponry to livingry. Indeed, it’s essentially the same fantasy. And not only is it an impossible fantasy for the reasons already discussed—a) weaponry (as well as massive public subsidies) being absolutely necessary to the unceasing flow of resources toward the center of empire, and b) Fuller’s notion ignores violence to the natural world—but we face an even greater challenge to the possibility of ever living sanely, peacefully, or, saying much the same thing, sustainably. This impediment forms the tenth premise of this book, which I’ve described in previous books and which I’ll explore more later on: 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