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Excerpt from Endgame

Starvation (p. 199)

From chapter "A Culture of Occupation"

As civilization falls, we all—rich and poor alike—have far more to fear than starvation, even more than the dioxin that permeates our bodies. Those in power time and again show no hesitation at killing to gain and maintain access to resources or to otherwise increase their power. Indeed, as is being shown right now in Iraq, and has been shown repeatedly the world over, they show an absolute eagerness to do so (I was going to suggest those who think the U.S. invasion has nothing to do with oil should put the book down, but realized they’ve probably already tired of the big words).

But their eagerness to use violence to gain power is nothing compared to what awaits anyone within range when their power is threatened. Anybody who has ever been in a violent relationship knows that to leave is extremely dangerous, as abusers often kill their victims rather than let them escape (showing they’d rather kill than give up their control, and, as my mom said, give up their identities). They sometimes kill themselves as well, showing they’d rather die, too, than give up their control and identity.

This happens not only on a personal level. When Hitler finally realized his war was lost, he tried to take down all of Germany with him. Disobedience on the part of his lieutenants prevented Hitler from succeeding. Had the Nazis possessed a nuclear arsenal comparable to what is now wielded by the United States, Hitler would certainly have attempted to use it to destroy the world. If an abuser cannot control a thing, it shall not be allowed to exist. This is the quintessence of abuse.

Lately at talks I’ve begun commenting that if those who run the U.S. government were to find their power seriously threatened, whether through internal rebellion or ecological collapse, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t scruple at nuking L.A. or any other seat of resistance. Heck, they’ve nuked Nevada for decades without any threat to their power at all.

People nod when I say this. There are no gasps of shock or disbelief. People easily accept the very real possibility of “their” leaders using nuclear weapons on the people and landbase they purport to serve. People are often far ahead of me in their analysis and understanding that those in power will do anything to maintain that power, and will destroy everything under their control before they see it let free.

Starvation, frightening as it is, may not be our greatest fear.