Ishmael (Bantam, 1995)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



" ... The trick is to get outside the cultural mind-set of Western culture, the Taker culture, which permeates "civilized" societies all over the world, of whatever race, religion, language, or other idiosyncrasies. The Taker culture, as expressed in Ishmael , is based upon the fundamental premise that the world was made for man. If you accept that premise, which our culture most certainly does, than it follows that the Earth "belongs to us and we can do what we damn well please with it." This, of course, is the mythology of our culture, so embedded that we don't even perceive it as a "myth" but perceive rather as an inherent truth that never even needs to be mentioned, much less defended. The dominant myth of anthropocentrism is expressed in the tacit assumption of Western culture that the end of man is to grow "forever" and dominate the Earth with his technological marvels and sheer numbers. "You hear this fifty times a day... Man is conquering the deserts, man is conquering the oceans, man is conquering the atom, man is conquering the elements, man is conquering outer space," Ishmael tells us. "The mythology of your culture hums in your ears so constantly that no one pays the slightest bit of attention to it." As a result, mankind is trying to live in a way that is plainly not sustainable over the long run. What Ishmael successfully points out is that this viewpoint is not the only possible one to take in human life and culture, and that in fact there are cultures - dubbed by Ishmael as Leaver cultures - which have enacted a different story. The dominant mythology of anthropocentrism isn't necessary to be human, it is only happens to be ingrained in a culture "which casts mankind as the enemy of the world." - Harold Wood, Jr.

Posted by St. Drogo at 2:07 PM  

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