Meeresbande Zine #2, S. 69 – More quotes from the book endgame
More quotes from Derrick Jensen’s book endgame (2006):
Volume II, p. 780
There comes a time in the lives of many long-term activists when symbolic victories – rare even as these can be sometimes – are no longer enough. There comes a time when many of these activists get burned out, discouraged, demoralized. Many fight despair.
I think fighting against this despair is a mistake. I think this despair is often an unacknowledged embodied understanding that the tactics we’ve been using aren’t accomplishing what we want, and the goals we’ve been seeking are insufficient to the crises we face. Activists so often get burned out and frustrated because we’re trying to achieve sustainability [justice, equality] within a system that is inherently unsustainable [injust, based on exploitation]. We can never win. No wonder we get discouraged.
But instead of really listening to these feelings, we so often take a couple of weeks off, and then dive back into trying to put the same old square pegs into the same old round holes. The result? More burnout. More frustration. More discouragement. And the salmon keep dying. [The exploited humans and nonhumans keep getting exploited, bombs keep falling, nuclear power keeps nuking people and landbases, illegalized immigrants keep getting hunted]
What would happen if we listened to these feelings of being burned out, discouraged, demoralized, and frustrated? What would those feelings tell us? Is it possible they could tell us that what we’re doing isn’t working, and so we should try something else? Perhaps they’re telling us, to squish metaphors, that we should stop trying to save scraps of soap and try to bust out of the whole concentration camp. […]
[T]he feeling I get when I’m working futilely feels a lot like burnout, discouragement, frustration, and so on. I’ve felt this sensation often enough to know that it doesn’t mean I need to take two weeks off and then come back and do the same damn useless job. Nor does it mean I need to collapse into a sobbing heap of self-pity. None of those do any good. It usually means I need to change my approach so that I accomplish something in the real physical world.
Useful work and tangible accomplishments make burnout go away quickly.
Volume II, p. 530
The civilized generally consider themselves to be highly rational, and a great working definition of rationalization is that it is the deliberate elimination of information unnecessary to achieving an immediate task. This information to be eliminated can certainly include morality.
On Pacifism: “And if a mother mouse will attack someone 6,000 times her size [himself, to defend her children] – and win – what the hell is wrong with us?”