Purchase Endgame
Read more

Excerpt from Endgame

The "Fuck It" Point (p. 335)

From chapter "Hope"

I’m talking to a friend, an ex-con, who says he thinks revolutions only take place when some critical mass of people get to what he calls the “fuck it” point: the point where things are so bad that people are finally ready to just say fuck it and do what needs to be done.

I can’t say I disagree.

It reminds me of a talk I gave a few months ago. I spoke of how so many of my students at the prison fully recognized civilization’s destructiveness and were ready to bring it all down. Afterwards someone from the audience stood and said that he was a public defender, and that his experience with his clients was radically different. They did not, he said, want to bring it all down. They merely wanted a bigger piece of the capitalist pie.

What he said struck me immediately as true. But I did not know how to merge that truth with what my former students had told me. Later that night a friend made it clear: the public defender and I were dealing with people who were at different parts of the process of being eaten by the state. The people he worked with had merely been arrested. Perhaps some still thought the system was fair. Perhaps others thought they could beat the system. Perhaps still others hoped merely that the system would not destroy them. None of them had yet reached the “fuck it” point. My students, on the other hand, were at a maximum security prison, many for the rest of their lives. There was no longer any reason for them to believe in the system. They had nothing left to lose.

* * *

We know what those in power do to those who threaten that power. Jeffrey Leuers burned three SUVs in an act of symbolic resistance, and was sentenced to more than twenty-two years in prison, a far longer sentence than that given to rapists, to men who beat their wives to death, to chemical company CEOs who give so many of us cancer. If we were to seriously threaten the perceived entitlement of those in power to convert the living world into consumer products to be sold, they would kill us.

I don’t particularly want to die. I love living, and I love my life. But I’ll tell you something that helped me lose at least some of the fear I have that those in power will kill me if I threaten their perceived entitlement to destroy the planet. I asked myself: What’s the worst they can do to me? Effectively, the worst they can do is kill me. Yes, they can torture me—as they do to so many—or they can put me in solitary confinement in a tiny box—as they also do to so many—but I would hope (there’s that word) that in those cases I’d be able to kill myself if necessary. Well, so far as I can figure, if they kill me, most probably one of three things will happen. One possibility is that when we die, it’s “boom, boom, out go the lights,” in which case I’ll just be dead, and I won’t know anything anyway. Another possibility is that after we die we go “somewhere else,” whatever that means, in which case I’ll just keep fighting them from there. And a third possibility is that after we die we get reincarnated. If that happens, I’ll follow the lead of the eighteen-year-old Indian Kartar Singh (Sardar Kartar Singh Saraba, or sometimes Shaheed Kartar Singh Saraba) who fought to drive the British from his home, and who in 1915 was betrayed and caught. When the magistrate overseeing the case was about to choose whether to hang him or imprison him for life, Kartar Singh stated: “I wish that I may be sentenced to death, and not life imprisonment, so that after re-birth, I may endeavour to get rid of the slavery imposed by the whites. If I am born as a female, I shall bear lion-hearted sons, and engage them in blowing to bits the British rulers.”

The court decided he was too dangerous to be allowed to live.

I hope he came back to fight again.