Interesting topic and links, thanks. Nazi rewilding, who knew? Although just because they did it doesn’t make it inherently evil or devoid of merit…
I heard about the ‘domestico fragilis’ thing through Vitalis’ buddy Arthur Haines. Apparently it started out as a bit of a joke but Haines’ discussion has some weight to it IMO:
(relevant part from 5:10)
The subject of breeding brings discomfort, mostly because of the association with eugenics as you say. There’s no controversy in admitting that cows, sheep, chickens etc. as well as the major plant domesticates have been purposefully bred to serve human requirements at the expense of their own needs. In ecological terminology their r-selected traits of rapid growth, high resource consumption, early & prolific reproduction have been enhanced and harnessed by human farmers to provide a maximum of usable commodity with the minimum energy taken up by the domesticate itself. Very clearly this has detrimental effects on the quality of life for the animal or plant in question - disease-prone, totally dependent, barely functional organisms. But things get sticky when you apply the same line of inquiry to humans! It seems undeniable that we face selection pressures as we grow up in the civilised culture - parents, teachers, employers, priests, politicians etc. all choose which particular behaviours and attitudes to encourage and which to punish, with success, prestige and influence granted only to those who abide by these rules while habitual offenders fall by the wayside. (In the 3rd world and during former times in the West too there appears to have been a definite encouragement of r-selected traits in the populations of farmers and early city-dwellers, especially when it came to having massive families.) But has there been a conscious breeding program guiding this all along? Seems more doubtful. Following the Herman-Chomsky propaganda model interpretation of mass indoctrination in the media I’d be less inclined to see a deliberate conspiracy and more a combination of unseen forces which predictably lead to the same outcomes. In their model it would be the underlying structure of free-market capitalism, whereas for human domestication we would be looking for deeper factors in the structure of agrarian societies. Maybe the ‘cultural materialism’ by which anthropologists have learned to predict social structures simply by looking at the methods of subsistence?
So where does that leave this ‘New Aboriginal’ form of rewilding? I don’t like the contempt sometimes shown towards domesticated humans much in the same way I’ve come to dislike the way some people speak about domesticated animals. Can you really blame them for being that way, given they had little or no choice in the matter and that the path of their life has been largely dictated by external agents and/or pressures? I think the Nazi/fascist-type approach to this would be through harsh contempt and injunctions about how people should (always SHOULD) ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’, much like you see in today’s dominant narratives about poverty and benefits claimants. A ‘chosen race’ would emerge of people ‘up to the task’ and these would be lionised and perhaps used to supplant ‘lesser’ peoples who would be considered responsible for their own failures. I’d be looking for a more gentle, understanding approach that works with reality as things currently stand rather than freaking out over how far away this might be from an ‘ideal’ form that someone has in their head (compare to the Heck bros obsession with ‘aesthetics’ of how the cattle appeared which completely tramples over any consideration of what would be good for the animal) and throwing out anything, anyone that doesn’t comply. This would apply to self-work as well as to relationships with animal & plant domesticates: letting the soft animal bodies simply love what they love, to paraphrase Mary Oliver:
But I don’t really think Vitalis or Haines would disagree with this, judging from what little I’ve read/seen of them.