For many of us, the primary issue is the environment. Not environmentalism, that neutered hybrid of the Left that destroyed every naturalist movement it got its greasy hands upon, nor any of the other Left-infused variants on that topic. But conservationism, or the idea of setting aside natural land so it can do what it must, for no reason other than appreciation for its beauty, that is conservationism.
The Left attacks naturalist movements because it realizes that these inherently drift rightward. The Left has one idea, which is mandatory universal inclusion or “equality,” and that means that each individual does whatever he wants… and no one says NO. Conservatism, which is based in order that is larger than the individual, can say NO and the Left fears it.
Conservationism sets limits on humanity. Instead of trying to police our every day acts, like whether we used more than 1.8 gallons for that last flush, it simply sets aside huge chunks of land, ideally over 50%, for use by nature only. In the past, this was done by making this land “hunting preserves” of nobles who hunted in it a few times a year and left it wild for the rest.
You might say that conservationism is anti-human, or at least post-human. Instead of looking at the world through the desires and fears of human beings, it simply looks at the world as a whole. It sees how interconnected the parts of ecosystems are, and how unequal they are, and desires to preserve them because they are a finer design than humanity will ever manage.
For those of us who have gone to the conservation side, the wisdom of ancient religion becomes visible: the battle is within us. We must decide to be good, and then do it, which means giving up the temporary in favor of the eternal. And we must be morally vigilant and attentive at all times, because an evil whether for a penny or billions is still evil, and opens the door to more.
Those of us who stay with the deep ecology viewpoint tend toward wanting a simpler life, where people live in small towns and own businesses instead of having jobs. We want families to be the center of our society, and to have eternal values that are more sacred than life itself, including defense and nurturing of our environment.
We are informed by the deep ecology mission statement:
We believe that current problems are largely rooted in the following circumstances:
- The loss of traditional knowledge, values, and ethics of behavior that celebrate the intrinsic value and sacredness of the natural world and that give the preservation of Nature prime importance. Correspondingly, the assumption of human superiority to other life forms, as if we were granted royalty status over Nature; the idea that Nature is mainly here to serve human will and purpose.
- The prevailing economic and development paradigms of the modern world, which place primary importance on the values of the market, not on Nature. The conversion of Nature to commodity form, the emphasis upon economic growth as a panacea, the industrialization of all activity, from forestry to farming to fishing, even to education and culture; the rush to economic globalization, cultural homogenization, commodity accumulation, urbanization, and human alienation. All of these are fundamentally incompatible with ecological sustainability on a finite Earth.
- Technology worship and an unlimited faith in the virtues of science; the modern paradigm that technological development is inevitable, invariably good, and to be equated with progress and human destiny. From this, we are left dangerously uncritical, blind to profound problems that technology has wrought, and in a state of passivity that confounds democracy.
- Overpopulation, in both the overdeveloped and the underdeveloped worlds, placing unsustainable burdens upon biodiversity and the human condition.
This is the only way to avoid the core problem of humanity: Crowdism, or the tendency of individual needs to accumulate and overwhelm goals. These manifest in the tragedy of the commons:
The tragedy of the commons develops in this way. Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons. Such an arrangement may work reasonably satisfactorily for centuries because tribal wars, poaching, and disease keep the numbers of both man and beast well below the carrying capacity of the land. Finally, however, comes the day of reckoning, that is, the day when the long-desired goal of social stability becomes a reality. At this point, the inherent logic of the commons remorselessly generates tragedy.
As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain. Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he asks, “What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?” This utility has one negative and one positive component.
- The positive component is a function of the increment of one animal. Since the herdsman receives all the proceeds from the sale of the additional animal, the positive utility is nearly +1.
- The negative component is a function of the additional overgrazing created by one more animal. Since, however, the effects of overgrazing are shared by all the herdsmen, the negative utility for any particular decision-making herdsman is only a fraction of -1.
Adding together the component partial utilities, the rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another…. But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit–in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.
The only solution to this problem is purpose, which is the opposite of what democratic society offers. In a democracy, the purpose is the people, instead of the purpose being some goal on which those people unite and toward which they cooperate. As a result, they become selfish, and start to act for themselves alone at the expense of society and nature, leading to the runaway consumption we see.
Amerika has a long history of conservationist writing, most of which is politically incorrect but still accurate. Many of the best writings were lost with the demise of various BBSes, USENET servers and early websites, but many live on in their twenty-first century format:
Tags: conservation, conservationism, environmentalism, naturalism