“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Case against Collapse

HT Ian Bogost. This is an interesting post on the Easter Islands part of Jared Diamond's book. It turns out that the story of ecocide is not quite right. And on the ideological force of Diamond's work, this comes quite close:

Perhaps the more recent studies of their history will help challenge the Hobbesian and pessimistic view that human nature necessarily tends towards destruction and violence.

It's why he appeals to Richard Dawkins—that and the fact that he is not a humanities scholar.

1 comment:

Zach Keebaugh said...

Lingis gives a different account of Easter Island in the intro or first chapter of "Dangerous Emotions" I believe. I think it might move from that to the death drive, but its been a long time. Its Lingis so I just have the vague recollection of reading and feeling slightly lost and inspired and tiny.