This has felt like the most difficult chapter for me to write. I’ve tried several times and deleted everything. You would assume that writing “Civilization Vs Rewilding” would come very easy, since civilization means the exact opposite of rewilding. Than I got to thinking. Most people don’t know what civilization means. They use the word “civilization” synonymously with “culture” and “society” and even, “humanity.”
I got into a fight with a friend who plays music. He thought I had judged him as a musician, thinking that I would eventually “put music under the long list of ‘everything vs. rewilding.'” In a sense, I could see how he (and others) think that by putting something up against rewilding, I mean that rewilding does not include it. I see how people could easily make the assumption that I think everything but rewilding, sucks. By now you too, might have had the thought, “this ‘vs.’ shit has really started to bug me.” Let me explain…
Native peoples played a major role in the maintenance and enhancement of biological diversity by introducing disturbances that created and maintained mosaics of different vegetation types. These disturbances, caused mainly by burning, were carried out specifically to maintain populations of plants that were gathered for food, cordage, basketry, and other uses and to enhance their quality. Thus traditional gathering, practiced holistically as both gathering and management, has the potential to promote biodiversity and restore communities to their formerly more heterogeneous conditions.
In her book Tending the Wild, M. Kat Anderson has painted a very different picture of indigenous peoples than most civilized people could even begin to fathom. She begins by taking us through the history of California and its Native peoples. Using accounts of explorers, missionaries, pioneers and anthropologists she shows how those of our culture came to California with no understanding or lens with which to understand native land management. Rather, like everywhere else, civilization saw resources to extract, came and conquered California and her people. With California’s wildlife & Native cultures now decimated, newer research has shown that Native land management actually contributed to enhancing the biological diversity and abundance of life. Anderson argues that if we wish to restore our mutual relationship with nature, we must learn these ancient management techniques and implement them immediately. Although she uses only California Natives to back her thesis, we can witness these same principles among indigenous cultures the world over. This book works not only as a history of indigenous horticulture in California, but mostly as a beginners manual for those who seek to understand more about sustainable, indigenous land management. This book rocked my world. Don’t miss out, buy it now!
Click the pic to buy the book!
*this is an out-dated version of this concept. I’ve revised it off the web and will repost it later.*
In the same vain as Primitive Skills Vs. Rewilding, permaculture does not encompass a world view change away from civilization. In fact, I see permaculture more often than not used as an example of how to save civilization from collapse. As much as it may seem like this essay means to attack permaculture, I actually think permaculture works great as a starting point for learning indigenous horticultural practices and preparing yourself for the collapse of civilization by disconnecting yourself from the industrial food economy. I read and practice permacultural principles and base my garden plans from them! I have a copy of Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden on my shelf. [/disclaimer]