The Question...ID: 448
posted: 13 Jan 2000
updated: 01 Apr 2002
It seems to me that what you're advocating in BEYOND CIVILIZATION is that people live as parasites on civilization. I can't see what this has to do with living harmlessly.
What you seem to be saying is that living as cultural predators (as we Takers do) is GOOD, but living as cultural parasites would be BAD. You need to realign your thinking about how creatures in general make their living.
Parasites and predators BOTH get their food from feeding on other organisms. The difference between them is simply that parasites feed on organisms that are LARGER than they are WITHOUT KILLING THEM (at least immediately--if ever). Predators, by contrast, typically feed on organisms that are SMALLER than they are--KILLING THEM OUTRIGHT! So tell me, how does it come about that creatures that feed on larger animals without killing them are BAD, but creatures that feed on smaller animals killing them outright are GOOD? What sense does it make to think that the farmer who kills the chicken outright for dinner is GOOD, whereas all the parasites that live in and on the chicken WITHOUT killing it are BAD?
This is the choice I'm offering in BEYOND CIVILIZATION: if you don't want to CONTRIBUTE your energy to the behemoth that is devouring the world, maybe you should consider DRAINING AWAY some of its energy by living on its back like a flea. Who lives more harmlessly in this case, the person who makes a living by contributing energy to the behemoth or the one who makes a living by draining some of that energy away? Personally, I vote for the flea.
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