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  The Ishmael Community: Exerpts from Daniel Quinn

Quotes from Daniel's Works

In our cultural mythology we see ourselves as having left tribalism behind the way modern medicine left the leech and the bleeding bowl behind, and we did so decisively and irrevocably. This is why it's so difficult for us to acknowledge that tribalism is not only the preeminently human social organization, it's also the only unequivocally successful social organization in human history. Thus, when even so wise and thoughtful a statesman as Mikhail Gorbachev calls for "a new beginning" and "a new civilization," he doesn't doubt for a single moment that the pattern for it lies in the social organization that has introduced humanity to oppression, injustice, poverty, chronic famine, incessant violence, genocide, global warfare, crime, corruption, and wholesale environmental destruction. To consult, in our time of deepest crisis, with the unqualified success that humanity enjoyed here for more than three million years is quite simply and utterly unthinkable.

Beyond Civilization

"Now, you know that the knowledge of what works well for production is what's valued in your culture. In the same way, the knowledge of what works well for people is what's valued in Leaver cultures. And every time the Takers stamp out a Leaver culture a wisdom ultimately tested since the birth of mankind disappears from the world beyond recall, just as every time they stamp out a species of life a life form ultimately tested since the birth of life disappears from the world beyond recall."

Ishmael



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