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OfflineProdijal_Son
slowmaster

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 1,573
Loc: derby city
Last seen: 7 years, 8 months
Totalitarian Agrarian Societies and Their Subsequenting iLLs
    #2053434 - 10/29/03 01:22 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Henceforth and all through out, homo sapiens sapiens may be referred to as man, mankind, or the certainly masculine pronoun of ?he?. It is here that this writer admonishes the implications of such discriminative methods, and extends his due pre-sincerities for any political faux pas he may commit. Let these references imply the inexpendability of the woman and not be interpreted as the propulsion of chauvinistically dominated histories. The task of symbolizing the equities of women and men in every reference to humans throughout writing is a task in and of itself. This being said, any complaints regarding this issue will be warmly embraced, given a feasible substitute accompanies.
To speak frankly, a looming majority of the human race acts as a parasite of the Earth: whether directly so or by association. Even this insectile comparison discredits the parasite: whose clout does consist of occasional discomforts to the gastro, but stakes no claim to Tupperware touting refrigerators. A parasite, like any other non-human, plays a role in the delicate balance of the community of Life; taking only what it needs to survive (judging the merit of this role is about as subjective as defining terrorism). Conversely, humans behave as if the Rapture may come at any moment; and accordingly pillage the Earth?s resources and horde them for safe-keeping. The consequences of such unchecked hedonism are aloof. Newscasters and their scientist?s sound bites seem to be the only ones concerned. Whilst the ocean?s fisheries are depleted, the rainforests decimated, and the diversity dwindles, one of every three Americans somehow finds their way to obesity. But, Americans are not the sole squanderers of terra firma. Since the dawn of civilization many groups of people have exploited the Earth for the benefit of their own progression.
Theodore Roosevelt?s arrogant vision of America?s manifest destiny is virtually a parable for contemporary civilization, and will one day be its undoing. Theo?s words epitomize the devastatingly expansive position most of man has taken throughout history, with the Fertile Crescent as its Genesis. The discovery of agriculture allowed man to expand in settlements, which Daniel Quinn describes as a ?biological adaptation practiced to some degree by every species (135).? Quinn continues by saying that ?every adaptation supports itself in competition with the adaptations around it.? This law of limited competition is one that ensures the stability of the community of Life by naturally limiting the expansion of one species, thus limiting its competition with other species.
The Modern man refuses to acknowledge this, for he believes that before him stands a world of great disarray and chaos. Armed with agriculture, humans have decided that the proliferation of our adaptation is more important than that of the community from which it spawned. Man asserts that he has been bestowed with a conscious mind to bring the world into order through the adaptation he has deemed most worthy. This mindset justifies that rainforests aren?t meant to be havens for the diversity of Life, but to be razed and ranched for the Rally?s in Rochester. The swelling of this particularly destructive path has simply all others into submission. Daniel Quinn adduces in his novel, Ishmael, that this path?s proponents are best described as the Takers. Takers guide their actions with under the conviction that Earth was meant to be harnessed and exploited for the advancement of man. This method proves to exponentially require the acquisition of new lands, thus leaving no room for deviation from it. These all-or-nothing agronomers attest that their way of life is axiomatically the right way of life.
These farm fascists, whose goal is to plough every plot of the planet to perpetuate population, are accurately described as totalitarian agrarians. Quinn suggests that the products of such a ?megalomaniac fantasy? of domination are societal ills such as: ?greed, cruelty, mental illness, crime, and drug addiction (147).? Those deeply rooted in the societies that harbor such humane digression justify their position by explaining that these ailments are absorbed as the expense of progress.
Not only do the destined digits of the Taker extended to every acre, apple, gem, or jewel of the Earth, but doubly require the exploitation of its own brethren to obtain these commodities. The issues addressed in Worked to the Bone are essentially products off the aforementioned ills explained by Quinn. Take example of Buck?s divulgences into the means of managing elitism through racism and stereotypes. In order for the early colonies to flourish a labor pool of slavery (constructing racism) and indentured servitude had to be created. Once the colonial ball got rolling the powers that were decided they needed more room to feed their population, so the Indians progressively were pushed farther and farther to the West.
One might contest that this acquisition of land was not for the sole purpose of agriculture, as they were used for a cornucopia of cash crops. But, the European?s pilfering was synonymous with totalitarian agrarianism. As described by W.B Bizzel, agrarianism is a ?political agitation or civil dissension arising from the dissatisfaction with the existing tenure of land.? When this meaning is coupled with that of totalitarianism, the crime of colonial (and contemporary) America is as unambiguous as its murderous methods. The structure of a totalitarian agrarian society is based on the omnipotent control of power, for the control of food production ultimately controls all facets of life. Thus, to leave a culture with no choice but to adapt to a narrowly benefiting method of agrarianism is totalitarian, and brutal. To digress again, this mention of America is solely for the purpose of example, as thousands of thousands of societies have used such methods.
Many political organizations throughout history profess their loyalty to a myriad of wholesome idioms, which justify their questionable actions. Islamic extremists incite their followers with the religious idioms of the Koran; the Bush Administration mollifies its denizens with the rhetoric of ?freedom? and ?Good and Evil?; and as Pem Buck accounts in her novel, Worked to the Bone, the Europeans clung tight to their teachings of progression and development to justify usurping the control of the ?savage and primitive? Native Americans.
The human race as a whole hasn?t always opted out of the laws of nature, and bi-pedals are not inherent mongers of the soil and each other. Dominant history, or Mother Culture (Quinn), teaches that agrarianism is the only way to live in today?s society. Dominant history teaches, inculcates rather, that the hunter/gatherer life was clearly too simple for humans, and naturally homo sapiens transcended this existence to become homo sapiens sapiens: the only creature of the Earth to believe himself exempt from the laws of nature. The proponents of totalitarian agrarianism will contest that agriculture is the right way to live. What?s better than living by the sweat of your brow? But be wary of minced words. Of course agriculture isn?t the evil afoot; it?s the forced assimilation of cultures practicing alternative methods that puts the smoke in the barrel.
Furthermore, humans aren?t intrinsically evil. Prior to the ascension from the cradle of civilization, human expansion was naturally contained. Even today, indigenous cultures such as the Bushmen of Africa, Kalapalo of Brazil, and Navajo of the United States still manage to obey the bounds of limited competition. What brought the harmony to hiatus was the discovery that man should no longer be limited to teeter-tottering on the razor thin line of hunter-gathering existence. The moment Adam sunk his pearls through the flesh of an apple from the Tree of Good and Evil, man realized his true place amongst the beasts of the jungle. Previous to Adam?s Macintosh machination man grasped no higher hold of survival than a simple field mouse, for both were foraging incessantly to extend the days of a seemingly pointless existence.
The ethos of a capitalist system is unmistakably analogous to that of a totalitarian agronomist society. As much of the ?civilized? world clings to laissez faire, they dare not question the hand that has fed them for so long. Throughout history the products of capitalist policy are corporate organizations whose motives often supercede those of the political organization and proletariats from which it was spawned. This creates social rifts and deplorable socio-economic disparities. In respect to this condition, a free market system is an expression of our ?free will? as human beings. If it is the nature of a free market system to deprive the exploited of social improvements for which they?ve toiled, then this is obviously not the best system to suit mankind. Likewise, totalitarian agrarianism is equally unfit, as its expansion will eventually cause the collapse of civilization.

Just as Marxism was ?dismantled from the top? (Quinn, 247)
Well, somebody?s got to do it. Well, do they? Why do low wage jobs exist? Because the hamburgers won?t flip themselves, damnit! Is this price we pay for the advancement of civilization? The
If we stopped flipping burgers and produced more protein supplements and soy we could return the pastures to forest.
Profession of guilt. As the option of opting out entirely is too isolationist for my taste of method, even I am not impervious to this vile status.
Tobacconists happy to free up hemp fields.
Ad infinitum


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The times are good. The living is easy. The vibes are zingy.


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OfflineProdijal_Son
slowmaster

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 1,573
Loc: derby city
Last seen: 7 years, 8 months
Re: Totalitarian Agrarian Societies and Their Subsequenting iLLs [Re: Prodijal_Son]
    #2057012 - 10/30/03 02:09 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Did anyone read this? Just curious.


--------------------
The times are good. The living is easy. The vibes are zingy.


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Offlinehongomon
old hand
Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 910
Loc: comin' at ya
Last seen: 12 years, 7 months
Re: Totalitarian Agrarian Societies and Their Subsequenting iLLs [Re: Prodijal_Son]
    #2057492 - 10/30/03 04:30 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

I read it. I'm ambivalent about Quinn, but maybe a good deal of my dislike of him is from the condescending style of his writing. It's easy to spot the Quinn-as-teacher character(s) in his books, as well as the reader-as-student character--and a pretty obtuse student at that.

Still, there's something to his concept of "totalitarian agriculture." However, I think he downplays the likelihood of this coming about, saying it was a very improbable combination of factors that led to the success of Mother Culture/tot. ag. Several times he refutes the idea that modern agriculture was developed as a reaction to famine. "You can't knit yourself a parachute when you're already out of the plane," he says. But he never considers the psychological reaction of seeing members of one's clan or tribe die during periods of scarcity. In fact he never considers scarcity, it's always famine, which he quickly rejects as a symptom of tot. ag. What about scarcity, and long winters, Quinn?

That's all the negative I'll say about Quinn for now. I think his books are still worth recommending, and he also actively discusses/defends his ideas at his website (link)

I think maybe history has rolled along with a little less goal-orientation than you're saying. For example, I don't think it's really a goal of "farm fascists, ... to plough every plot of the planet to perpetuate population." We're just doing a good job of making it look that way.

IMO the big picture remedies to this are illusory. The -isms we throw back and forth are all products of the culture we're talking about. The tribalist notions (You know, "Think globally, act locally") appeal to me more. That should be a fundamental teaching--that the big picture is really a collection of interconnected smaller pictures, which are made of even more smaller pictures, and so on, in kind of a fractal structure. I saw it once in the sky while on mushroms, so it must be true....

I just read a book called "Gaviotas" about a small social experiment in eastern Colombia. They were very apolitical. Some members of the Chinese government visited them and called them a great example of a socialist community. So they were all nervous that the right-wing paramilitary would come murder them. Then a leading government official came from Bogota and commended their many conservative ideals. So they worried that the FARC or the ELF guerillas would come murder them. Luckily everyone approved of what they were doing and left them alone. So at least in this case, a successful, communal anarchy (or anarchistic commune) exemplified what both sides had in their mind's eye as the ideal.

Anyway, just some thoughts.


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OfflineProdijal_Son
slowmaster

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 1,573
Loc: derby city
Last seen: 7 years, 8 months
Re: Totalitarian Agrarian Societies and Their Subsequenting iLLs [Re: hongomon]
    #2057515 - 10/30/03 04:35 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

You raise some interesting ideas. I'll have to internalize and get back to this.


--------------------
The times are good. The living is easy. The vibes are zingy.


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