Premise Seven: The longer we wait for civilization to crash – or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down – the messier the crash will be, and the worse things will be for those humans and non-humans who live during it, and for those who come after.
Premise Eight: The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system.
Premise Nine: Although there will clearly someday be far fewer humans than there are at present, there are many ways this reduction in population may occur. Some will be characterized by extreme violence and privation. . . . Personally and collectively we may be able to both reduce the amount and soften the character of violence that occurs during this ongoing and perhaps long-term shift.
Premise Ten: 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.
Premise Eleven: From the beginning, this culture – civilization – has been a culture of occupation.
Premise Twelve: There are no rich people in the world, and there are no poor people. There are just people. The rich my have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something – or their presumed riches may be even more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks – and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.
Premise Thirteen: Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist.
Encroachment. It’s what civilization does. I found out yesterday there’s a “convenience” store with a Subway “restaurant” going up at the corner that turns off the main road to my parent’s house. The main road is still a two-laner that runs parallel, north to south, along the railroad tracks. There’s a little church on the other side of the road. It’s a fine little corner that’s about to be encroached upon and made ugly, concreted over and lit to high heaven. Because somebody needs to make money – of course they do, and because we all need better access to Jared’s preferred weight-loss food.
I also found out earlier this week the dam proposal for the Flint River is on the table again. Because Atlantan’s are running out of water, dontcha know. Never mind it’s one of a only a handful of rivers that still run free for a few hundred miles. Never mind the halloween darter or the shoal bass who thrive in the Flint. Just never you mind now.
Encroachment. It’s what the multiple sclerosis does to my friend’s body. She weebles and wobbles and can barely stand but she won’t use that walker; oh no. She’s losing her teeth and her brain a little at a time and all I can do is take her elbow and make sure she doesn’t fall, get her out of the house that’s become her prison for an hour or two, tell her I love her.
Encroachment. It’s what addiction does to all of us – those of us who know we’re addicted and those of us who don’t; it does the same thing. It’s what cancer does, depression, alzheimer’s and modernity. Encroachment: It’s slow, steady, unremitting. Today a Subway tomorrow not a tree left for miles. Today a dam tomorrow not a salmon left. Today a tremor in your hand tomorrow you can’t stand up. Today a beer tomorrow one hundred won’t do it.
Some encroachments can’t be stopped. But some of them can if enough of us wake up from our slumber and decide enough is enough. Some people have already decided, they’re wide awake and ready to act. They’re gathering now.