I’m perceiving that some people think that ‘changing minds’ should not be a major tactic used in the effort to rewild. I need to disagree. Not because I think we should only sit around and pass out fliers on why we should stop being bad to the world while forests are clear cut, but because I think this issue is being framed poorly. I want to be clear that I agree with Jensen’s idea that Civilization needs to be stopped because it will not stop voluntarily.
The frame of the issue becomes problematic here though: will breaking down the infrastructure of civilization and killing its members be enough? Phrased another way: will simply cutting out the cancer cure it or will killing the army stop the killing of your people? As many cancer patients and many indigenous people around the world have found out: Not often.
Both Quinn and Jensen point out that Civilization is in the head and shared between people: its cultural. This means that even if you destroy the outward expressions of culture, it is naive to think that you have stopped the culture of civilization from continuing. When you stop having radiation or chemo, stop taking the drugs, that is when the cancer re-emerges; and when you let your guard down and go back to living with your group is when the next army comes to avenge their brothers’ deaths.
As many have pointed out though, using Quinn’s route of solely trying to change people’s minds is likely going to be ineffective at this point. The population is too big, there is too much destruction, and in many cases the only thing keeping us from total destruction is the power of oil.
I completely disagree that we have -no- control over whether civilization will rear its head again. We do not have a high degree of control, but we know elements that bring about civilization (agriculture, power hierarchies, dissolution of family bonds, etc) which we can guard against. History and archaeology have shown both that civilization can bounce back from ecological (Angkor Wat) and infrastructure (Rome) collapse, and in a protracted battle between civilizations and indigenous peoples that civ will win eventually.
The way I see it, once the initial problem is dealt with (cancer is cut out, army is killed) that is when you must press the fight forward with a different tactic to root out the cause of the problem. You need the go on the intensive lifestyle program to boost your immune system and you need to capture the soldiers and assimilate them into your clan so that when they escape they find the life they return to lackluster. The fight is not over until civilization is gone, which means that not only are its outward expressions destroyed but also the tails of the glory of ‘golden age’ must be subverted, the longing for the past must vanish, and all the people must learn to dance again.
There is no doubt that the problems we see now must be confronted, but if we do not continue to tell the stories and change people’s minds than one fight will lead to another and lead to another. Even if that war is fought first with stone spears, then with bronze swords, than with iron swords, then with cannons, than with muskets, than with rifles, than with assault rifles, and finally (after a collapse) with spears made from jagged pieces of tempered glass hafted to copper pipes.
I thought of another analogy. If you have cancer in your body, you don't spend your time learning about how to prevent cancer from coming back... You spend your time getting the cancer the hell out of your body! If you spent your time figuring out how to prevent cancer from coming back, you'd sooner or later end up dying of the cancer that you have.
Of the 5 people close to me that have had cancer 3 are surviving and 2 are dead. One is dead because they caught the cancer too late and it ate her alive. One is dead because even though he took radiation and had the cancer cut out, it came roaring back with a vengeance to eventually destroy him. One is still alive by freak chance, he did not seek treatment and the cancer went away. One is alive because she had conventional treatment and the cancer went away. The last one is still alive because when the cancer was first found he sought a very different type of treatment using a combination of drugs and intensive ‘life-therapy’ where they had him do all sorts of things to pump up his immune system such as eat well and exercise; things that would be paramount to ‘preventative measures’.
Clearly, results may vary.