Extraction State is a historical legacy. That legacy shapes the reality now of how powerful interests exploit the natural, human, and social resources of the rural patchwork of Pennsylvania. That reality harms people and makes people feel hopeless and powerless. We are all in a sacrifice zone.
The Extraction State reality includes, but is not limited to: mining, timber, natural gas, mining the vulnerable for opioid addiction, mining the youth with pick-axes of education so we have a “brain drain”, and, finally, mining a “non-profit” status for health care businesses to extract maximal profit.
The reality of Extraction State hardens into a state of mind we internalize. We can’t “afford” another world, even if it is possible. Right wing media with its loathing of solidarity thinking, and traditional media, with it’s love of pro-business, neoliberal thinking, cement the Extraction State mindset ever more firmly in our minds.
Just like the miners of the 1800s, we are all living in a new company town, going to the company store, using the company doctors and services. But this company town is so pervasive, and we are locked in the extraction state of mind, we don’t see it.
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Sandra Steingarber is one of the first voices we added to our list of voices and perspectives to explore. She is a scientist, writer, advocate, poet, and film-maker, according to her website.She has been a key figure in New York state's response to the rise of the...