Where Nature Meets Culture—Plus Wildfire, Dogs, Environmental News, and Writing with a Southern Rockies Perspective.
October 25, 2018
"Fields End Freedom"
Harvested cornfield and corn bins, North Dakota
"As centuries, then millennia passed, the areas open for retreat [back to a hunter-gatherer way of life] dwindled, and farming culture became ingrainedand habitual. The assumption of its 'superiority' has likewise become ingrained in us, its modern inheritors.This is the assumption that we now have to question. Superior it certainly was in most cases as the mode of production at the base of a new competitive complex — the militarized urban-agrarian state. But in terms of the quality of life for the general run of the population at the time of its introduction, as opposed to the elite? It seems doubtful. It must be remembered: fields end freedom. Whatever the astonishing subsequent achievements of civilization, it had a little-recognized price: humanity itself became one of its own domesticated species. We enslaved ourselves to conquer."