Give Me A Wildness No Civilization Can Endure
|The wonders of the world in nature art and mind, by Robert Sears|
Gary Snyder writes:
Thoreau says, “give me a wildness no civilization can endure.” That’s clearly not difficult to find. It is harder to imagine a civilization that wildness can endure, yet this is just what we must try to do. Wildness is not just the “preservation of the world,” it is the world. Civilizations east and west have long been on a collision course with wild nature, and now the developed nations in particular have the witless power to destroy not only individual creatures but whole species, whole processes, of the earth. We need a civilization that can live fully and creatively together with wildness. We must start growing it right here, in the New World (The Practice of the Wild, 169).
What do you make of Snyder’s poetic politicking? When I think of civilization, I think of the military industrial complex, and the overreaching corporatization of every sector of business and trade. I think of the short-term profit mindset, which seems to say, Fuck everything else in the world right now, just make sure next week’s, and next month’s numbers are better than last.
Can we have a world of good old capitalism, of freely buying and selling and trading, with a responsible, conscientious concern for the preservation of our planet and its wildness? Could we ever get to a place in history where everybody has the right to produce necessary goods and services within a reasonable capacity? Servicing the public, providing the public with quality products, and earning a living from that contribution, but without the short-term profit blindness and destruction?
I imagine a sustainable society where every citizen receives a base sum of money by which to live and flourish, but to go beyond that, to make more money, a citizen would need to produce a service or quality for society, or help somebody else service the community. People could engage in work they felt strongly about, and hopefully find something they were passionate about, and that satisfied them.
Either way, as Snyder says, we need to steer off the “collision course with wild nature,” because it’s that wildness that provides for us, and breathes true life into our man made systems and subsistence. Runaway industrialism and capitalism have been self-destructive, and now we’re so far into that dead end cave, the darkness is nearly too much for us to find our way out again, and back into the light, where we can offer up proactive ideas and solutions to our suicidal way of living.
And it is suicidal. Genetically modified food has been proven to sterilize third generation mammals, such as rats. We’ve all but killed off our honey bees (which pollinate the plant life that we and our animals eat). We’ve soiled the waters with our pharmaceuticals (from our shit), and dumped the industrial waste into the rivers. Frogs have wildly mutated from these chemicals and pollutants. Scientists are noticing suicidal tendencies in animals, and it is suspected to be the Prozac types of drugs flowing into our water systems.
We are snuffing out our species, and taking down many others as we fall. When will we turn this around? Is it too late? Will be keep chasing our careers, money, and social statuses right off the edge of the cliff? Will the younger generations wake up, become aware, and turn around this destructive way of life? Or will they be mesmerized with the brainwashing, psychotropic qualities of mobile devices, and be ultimately manipulated by our highly digital world?