My inspiration for this thread is "What are the under-lying, invisible, culturally-transmitted psychological motivations behind commonplace activities? In this case, procreation. And secondly, what are rewilding ethics and how do they connect or conflict with these underlying motivations? While state and religion inspired ethics are made up to enforce civilization, the concept of “actions/decisions/choices to take/make that are in align with my world view and way of seeing the world” are important to think about— And in particular, to population growth.
The “urge to enjoy and cherish life” are part cultural, part personal/biological. What “enjoyment” means to people is part cultural, part personal/biological. Of course, we’re both on the same page with wanting family/village tending the wild. Yet, there are lots of people who have urges to enjoy life more, by consuming more. These urges are in also cultural and biological (sugar tastes good, drugs feel good, etc).
Quitting smoking was hard work. Quitting drinking was hard work. I struggle with all kinds of addictions. Civilization is just another kind of addiction. So are all of the cultural aspects we’ve been led to believe we should just do (get married, buy a house, have children, etc.).
Sometimes making changes in your lifestyle that will fit what you want is hard work (like rewilding). Does that mean you should just not do it? I see the connection here to Derrick Jensen’s rejection of “symbolic”, consumer-decision based programs like recycling and the connection to the hypocrisy argument. And I think I’m starting to call bullshit on some of it. Honestly, it feels a little lazy, like “I’ll just quit smoking when they outlaw cigarettes.” The interesting thing in here (and what I’m getting at) is that outlawing cigarettes would make people quit. It would be a state-mandated cultural ethic. Whereas, a Smoker’s Anonymous group is a micro culture in and of itself created to support people who want to quit smoking. Rewilding to me, is like this grass-roots Smoker’s Anonymous. We are a micro-culture, leveraging the micro-culture to change ourselves and our lives in the way we perceive as better than the dominant culture. Only, we’re sort of creating these ethics as we go along together. We don’t have a defined 12 step program.
You may not be concerned with population growth, but I am. I want to throw this into the mix of rewilding ethics. Indigenous cultures were and probably still are where they exist, constantly (probably consciously and through cultural elements) concerned with population/landbase capacity. They may not have thought about it in the way we do, but it was certainly deeply entrenched in their cultures.
I’m going to make a guess, that in an overly-populated community, they had methods for reducing their populations, or customs of restricting growth.
What I mean to say here is that procreating children (not to be confused with having and tending a family) is not really something that is questioned, and I think that is because of age-old taker entitlement: i.e. “Who cares if our landbase has enough resources to produce another human? We’ll just steal more resources from our neighbors.” Our culture has had the idea of “be fruitful and multiply” for so long, that we don’t really think about population dynamics or that there could even be ethics (an informed decision to protect the landbase and all the families) around population growth… So what would these ethics look like in a transitioning culture of rewilding?
Off-Topic Side Notes:
Conversely to the narcissistic single-adult… Are narcissistic parents. The ones who project themselves onto their child and think they are just the perfect kid ever and can never do anything wrong. The ones who play with their children like living dolls. The ones who have kids so they can check off a box on the things to do in life list and then have nothing to do with their kids lives. People who have kids because they believe they can do a better job of raising children than anyone else (I would/will be on this end of the spectrum if/when I have kids hahaha ).
Narcissism and privilege can play or role (or not) on both sides of the equation. There are plenty of awesome adults with children, and plenty of awesome adults without children.
I think the reason there are less births in first world countries are because people here are more educated, and that education allows them more of a choice.
I personally wouldn’t adopt. But that’s because I don’t want anyone else’s family ghosts… I’ve got enough of my own! There’s a whole other thread… or two… haha