posted on May, 19 2013 @ 06:34 PM
As the pressures put on the environment by rampant capitalism and urban development have continued unabashed well into the 21st century, it has become
apparent that rather than violent revolution, a peaceful exodus must be undertaken by like-minded expatriates in order to form a more perfect society.
Due to global warming, a previously uninhabitable Antarctic peninsula has become temperate. The permafrost and glaciers have receded to reveal
fertile soil and rolling grasslands. With shared resources and experience, a common goal, and a massive social media campaign, I have gathered a
sizeable population of like-minded individuals and we are leaving the madness of the “civilized” world for a better life.
Of Penguins and Men
It is my belief that the unspoiled land of Antarctica offers a chance for a new type of society to develop and flourish. With advanced technology and
philosophical inquiry it will be possible to sustain small communities on the previously frozen Antarctic plains. However, it will not be a life of
luxury. As emigrants leaving our homeland to settle somewhere new, we will only have ourselves to rely upon for our survival. Therefore, we must
strive to work together as a community with a common goal. We will not set out with the colonialist objectives of our ancestors, nor will ours be a
mission of conquest. It is our responsibility to show that society can begin anew, and that given a peaceful foundation and strong leadership we can
grow and flourish into a culture where the differences among cultures do not devolve into conflict; our free will is responsibly guided by immutable
laws of cause and effect; and the empirical data provided by our senses is rationalized into useful knowledge by our intuition.
My society will consist of 300 people, comprising a wide range of specialists. Agricultural experts, philosophers, scientists, artists, engineers, and
laborers will comprise the bulk of the population. The first outpost will be an experiment to determine whether or not Antarctica could support
numerous such interconnected communities. In time, if our experiment proves successful, more people may be brought to Antarctica so that they may be
freed from the capitalist excess, social inequalities, and rampant militarization which is spreading over the rest of the world.
A previously uncontacted society of nomadic penguin herders has emerged from the Antarctic interior to investigate us as we arrived at the coast. They
have no knowledge of the world outside of their homeland, and it is imperative that we avoid the colonialist arrogance of the past so that our two
cultures can coexist peacefully. While a strict noninterference policy would be preferable, it is too late to avoid interacting with each other. The
changes to our environment have brought us into contact with one another, and we must now ensure that all efforts are made to preserve the identity of
Until global warming melted the habitat of the Antarctic penguin, the giant herds formed the base of the natives’ food supply. Now, with vastly
reduced herd sizes, the penguins can no longer support the needs of the Antarcticans. No less important is the Antarcticans’ belief that they
themselves are descended from the penguins. By sharing our resources and knowledge we can overcome the challenges posed by the environment and enrich
the culture of both societies. From the indigenous people we can learn effective traditional methods for living off the land in our new home, and they
will likely benefit from our aquaponic farming technology without abundant supplies of penguin meat. The Antarcticans have asked for our help in
restoring balance to the penguins and they only ask that we do not attempt to clone them or modify their genetics, as we would be interfering with
their ancestors on a fundamental level. As unwitting representatives of the industrial revolution and its accompanying environmental damage, we are
obligated to assist. Hopefully, with cooperation, understanding, and careful resource management, we will one day be able to bring the Antarctic
penguin population back to pre-industrial levels.
The knowledge of the land preserved by the indigenous people in their culture and traditions must not be dismissed as inefficient simply because it is
different from our own, or because it is passed down through oral tradition rather than scientific journals. The pitiful state of the environment we
left behind is evidence that our own methods of land management leave something to be desired. In his essay Hawaii for the White Man, writer Van
Norden echoes a common sentiment among American and European settlers of the colonialist period: that productive agricultural land probably isn’t
being used to its fullest potential by the Native inhabitants, and must therefore be “conquered by Anglo-Saxon Americans (Norden, 1911)”. This
type of preconceived notion, that a culture’s differences from one’s own constitutes ignorance, must not be allowed to permeate my society. As
guests in the Antarcticans’ home, we will behave as such.
Curiously, the Antarcticans share similar epistemological views with Native Hawaiians. The notion that the environment itself is a spiritual,
conscious entity, as well as the ancestor and mother of all life (Meyer, 2010) allowed the Antarcticans to reach a balance with nature which is
sustainable for both the kanaka (i.e. the Antarcticans, the first people who came from the land) and the ‘aina (the environment). Their knowledge is
drawn from their geography, both physical and cultural, and “is the foundation of [their] creativity… (Meyer, 2010). The notion of environmental
stewardship is somewhat of a contradiction when the land is viewed as something which is owned once it’s been improved upon, enclosed, or
appropriated for the common good. The lack of compassion for the environment, which has resulted in its near total collapse, is due to the widespread
acceptance of John Locke’s idea that land must be “removed from the common state nature placed it in” (Waldron, 2012) for it to be useful to
man. We will endeavor to practice the epistemological views of the Antarcticans, beginning with asking for permission to be there and treating the
Antarcticans as kanaka to their land rather than alien to it.
When the land is viewed as a teacher, mother, and ancestor it becomes a source of knowledge rather than a source of wealth. My people will be taught
respect for the balance required by nature by using the ice floes, glaciers, and pristine night sky as classrooms for life’s most important lesson,
which is how to preserve the environment for future generations.
In order to avoid damage to either population, the mistakes made by Captain Cook in Hawaii will not be repeated (Bentley & Ziegler, 2011). Sexual
contact between members of the different societies will be expressly prohibited. While we will have no jurisdiction to punish the Antarcticans for
this crime, any member of my society who engages in sexual conduct with the native population will be banished from the outpost. The risks of
infectious disease, pregnancy, or misunderstood emotions are too great to allow any freedom in this matter.
As newcomers and foreigners to Antarctica we must respect the culture and the land of the people who were here before us. As we will possess no
military, we will not build any bases or attempt to militarize Antarctica in any way. (cont...)