Siberian Tigers

Derrick Jensen: Democracy of Destruction

When the will of the people spells demise for the planet

By Derrick Jensen / Deep Green Resistance

The United States is not a democracy. It is more accurate to say we live in a plutocracy — a government of, by, and for the wealthy — or more accurate still, a kleptocracy — a government that has as its primary organizing principle theft, from the poor, from the land, from the future. Yet somehow we still often publicly speak and act as though we do live in a democracy.

But there exists a deeper problem than us not living in a democracy, an even deeper problem than our inability to acknowledge that we don’t live in a democracy, which is that there’s a very real way in which we do live in a democracy. And the implications of this are very bad news for the planet. The reason has to do not so much with how we are governed as with what we want, and what we do. If it’s true that, as someone said long ago, by their fruits ye shall know them, it quickly becomes clear that, to use my mother’s phrase, the majority of people in this country don’t give two hoots in a rain barrel about the health of the planet. Some examples should make this clear.

Let’s start with tigers. Not real tigers, not flesh-and-blood tigers, not tigers who are being driven extinct in the wild. But rather the Louisiana State University Tigers football team, currently ranked number one in the country. Last January, when LSU played Alabama for the college football championship, more than 78,000 people attended. The median ticket price was $1,565, and some seats were reported to have gone for as much as $10,000. The region was so excited about this football game that a number of schools closed in celebration. And of course the television audience was well over 24 million people. It was the second most watched program in cable television history.

All of which leads me to conclude that more people in this country care about the Tigers football team than living, breathing tigers. Obviously, you could make the same argument about the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and on and on.

Read the full article on the DGR News Service.

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