The Premises of This Blog
It's been said often enough that argument arises out of people thinking they mean the same thing with the same words. More specifically, a lot of these disputes have to do with pre-conceived ideas about a subject, and the assumptions we make concerning the world and our relationships. Often these assumptions are not examined, the result of our culture's conditioning and the narrative conveyed by pop culture and so-called "educational" institutions alike.
It's also true that the first rule of propaganda is that if you can slip your premises by someone, you've got them. Mainstream media and education are forms of this, transmitting the imperial narrative into our minds so nefariously that we mistake it for an accurate model for reality. I don't want to do that here, even if it would be easier. I want to be clear about what I think, after my years of observation, thought, and study, is an accurate shorthand for reality. And I want to stem off pointless, if intelligent, arguments before they start, so I don't have to constantly repeat the same arguments over and over and over again.
Luckily for me, I don't need to spell out every little bit of information that I think you all need to know, because some of my fellow writers have already done this. Two very huge influences on my opinions have been Derrick Jensen's two volume book Endgame (and especially the premises he lays out in them, from which I got the idea for this post) and Jason Godesky's series of essays entitled "The Thirty Theses". In fact, Jason compiled these essays in part to have a comprehensive answer to the same old arguments he kept getting from people, and to lay out the well-researched premises and conclusions he'd come to in his own studies concerning traditional indigenous and civilized people. I thoroughly recommend reading both of these works, or at least skimming them for the "headlines". For the most part, I agree with these outlined points.
There are some other works that have been hugely important to me as well, like Ward Churchill's Pacifism as Pathology (and many of his other works), in which Churchill convincingly argues that strict, dogmatic adherence to totalitarian non-violence only supports the status quo, that each situation needs to be considered on it's own basis (tactical, logistical, and effectual) whether or not violence is the appropriate action, and that the refusal of (mostly white) supposedly radical people to even consider violent or destructive action is privileged cowardice shrouded in a racist narrative of moral superiority. I've always assumed that this book was at least partial inspiration for Derrick Jensen's fourth premise in Endgame, and I think this excerpt is a great example. And as I hinted at earlier, I think the formation of many of these opinions have a lot to do with the imperial narrative present in education, pop culture, and mass media, and this narrative's implicit demonization of legitimate freedom fighters, and exclusive praise to non-violent protesters (no matter if they actually had effect or not).
To wrap this up, I'll quickly state some of the other premises that my essays are based upon.
-Humans are not inherently destructive, and evolved to live in such a way as to use culture as an adaptive mechanism to find sustainable, healthy, and even robust ways to live within ecosytems. This obviously makes civilized cultures aberrations.
-Humans have evolved as omnivores. We require some meat, but the percentage of the diet is very malleable and largely dependent on factors such as the landbases we live on. In general, the further from the equator a group of people is the more meat they consume, and conversely the closer a group of people is to the equator the less they consume meat.
-Humans do not naturally tend to enslave one another, and we are not evolved to be on either end of such a relationship. To say slavery is bad should suffice, but some dumb shit will even decide to argue that. Slavery is not only ethically reprehensible, but is the basis of empire/civilization, and all of the evils entailed.