Dark Ecology | Paul Kingsnorth | Orion Magazine

“Romanticizing the past” is a familiar accusation, made mostly by people who think it is more grown-up to romanticize the future. But it’s not necessary to convince yourself that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers lived in paradise in order to observe that progress is a ratchet, every turn forcing us more tightly into the gears of a machine we were forced to create to solve the problems created by progress. It is far too late to think about dismantling this machine in a rational manner—and in any case who wants to? We can’t deny that it brings benefits to us, even as it chokes us and our world by degrees. Those benefits are what keep us largely quiet and uncomplaining as the machine rolls on, in the words of the poet R. S. Thomas, “over the creeds and masterpieces”:

The machine appeared

In the distance, singing to itself

Of money. Its song was the web

They were caught in, men and women

Together. The villages were as flies

To be sucked empty.

God secreted

A tear. Enough, enough,

He commanded, but the machine

Looked at him and went on singing.

via Dark Ecology | Paul Kingsnorth | Orion Magazine.

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