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Karl Marx recognized that workers without a choice are workers in chains. But his idea of breaking chains was for us to depose the pharaohs and then build the pyramids for ourselves, as if building pyramids is something we just can't stop doing, we love it so much
Because revolution in our culture has always represented an attack on hierarchy, it has always meant upheaval--literally a heaving up from below. But upheaval has no role to play in moving beyond civilization. If the plane is in trouble, you don't shoot the pilot*, you grab a parachute and jump. To overthrow the hierarchy is pointless; we just want to leave it behind.
*or yell and wave signs and write songs about what a bad job the pilot is doing (i said that)
The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitlers mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness
What’s going on here is something wholly new. These aren’t raiding parties. These aren’t people drawing a line and baring their teeth at us to make sure we know they’re there. These guys are saying . . . Our brothers from the north are saying that we’ve got to die. They’re saying Abel has to be wiped out. They’re saying we’re not to be allowed to live. Now that’s something new, and we don’t get it. Why can’t they live up there and be farmers and let us live down here and be herders? Why do they have to murder us?’
‘Something really weird must have happened up there to turn these people into murderers. What could it have been? Wait, a second . . . Look at the way these people live. Nobody has ever lived this way before. They’re not just saying that we have to die. They’re saying that everything has to die. They’re not just killing us, they’re killing everything. They’re saying, “Okay, lions, you’re dead. We’ve had it with you. You’re out of here.” They’re saying, “Okay, wolves, we’ve had it with you too. You’re out of here.” They’re saying . . . “Nobody eats but us. All this food belongs to us and no one else can have any without our permission.” They’re saying, “What we want to live lives and what we want to die dies.”
“ ‘That’s it! They’re acting as if they were the gods themselves. They’re acting as if they eat at the gods’ own tree of wisdom, as though they were as wise as the gods and could send life and death wherever they please. Yes, that’s it. That’s what must have happened up there. These people found the gods’ own tree of wisdom and stole some of its fruit.
“ ‘Aha! Right! These are an accursed people! You can see that right off the bat. When the gods found out what they’d done, they said, “Okay, you wretched people, that’s it for you! We’re not taking care of you anymore. You’re out. We banish you from the garden. From now on, instead of living on our bounty, you can wrest your food from the ground by the sweat of your brows.” And that’s how these accursed tillers of the soil came to be hunting us down and watering their fields with our blood.’ ”
Originally posted by pai mei
But upheaval has no role to play in moving beyond civilization. If the plane is in trouble, you don't shoot the pilot*, you grab a parachute and jump. To overthrow the hierarchy is pointless; we just want to leave it behind.