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Friday, February 6, 2015

Ishmael

"This is a story about a blue crab killed for no good reason. It is a story about birth and rebirth, law and life, nature and nurture, cooperation and connection, cultivation and civilization, production and destruction, seed and greed, Adam and Eve. It is a story about "Ishmael." "Ishmael," a 1992 Daniel Quinn novel, sounded an alarm on civilization's war on Earth, embarked on 10,000 years ago at the beginning of the agricultural revolution. It illuminated the way in which that revolution continues with blindness and madness, killing or swallowing all life — plant, creature or human — that stands in the way of its appetite for expansion. It urged us to wake up. [...]

People have asked me why I don't just become a hunter-gatherer. I have no interest in becoming a hunter-gatherer — and I know my wife, who focuses on the good in our society, wouldn't, either. I wouldn't know what to do and especially where to go. My problem is less with civilization than the aggressiveness and mindlessness of this one. As Quinn points out in "Ishmael," civilization isn't against the law of limited competition; it's subject to the law of limited competition. While writing this essay, I took a break to go with my wife and son to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform at the Morton Arboretum. As I listened, I thought about all the beauty this culture has produced."

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-07-13/features/ct-prj-0714-ishmael-lifes-operating-manual-tom-sha-20130713_1_printers-row-journal-chalice-books/2