Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday's DQ Quote

"It has been the work of my life to pin down and demolish the lie that is at the root of this mythology in our culture. It's to be found in the way we tell the human story itself in our culture. You can see it perpetuated in textbook after textbook, and if you keep your eyes open, you'll see it repeated weekly somewhere---in a newspaper or magazine article, in a television documentary. Here it is, the human story as it's told in our culture, day in and day out, stripped to its essentials. "Humans appeared in the living community about three million years ago. When they appeared, they were foragers, just like their primate ancestors. Over the millennia, these foragers added hunting to their repertoire and so became hunter-gatherers. Humans lived as hunter-gatherers until about ten thousand years ago, when they abandoned this life for the agricultural life, settling down into villages and beginning to build the civilization that encircles the world today." That's the story as our children learn it, and it has just this one little problem, that it didn't happen that way at all. Ten thousand years ago, it was not HUMANITY that traded in the foraging life for the agricultural life and began to build civilization, it was a single culture. One culture out of ten thousand cultures did this, and the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine went on exactly as before. Over the millennia that followed, this one culture, born in the middle east, overran neighboring cultures in all directions, finally arriving in the New World about five hundred years ago. At which point it began to overrun the native cultures of THIS part of the world as well. It is a truism that the conqueror gets to write the history books, and the history our children learn is history as WE tell it. And the central lie of this history is that HUMANITY ITSELF did what WE did."--Daniel Quinn from the essay titled: The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction

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