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Hours of Ancient Sunlight
Explain Hartmann's argument connecting the "younger culture" mentality/way of life to the rise of violence between groups of people (e.g. "races" and genders) and against Nature.
To Hartmann the younger culture and the older culture are different on the basis of individual reality. Previously, in the older culture, the meanings of the actions and the intentions of these actions were limited, but today the younger culture is not only receptive but also reactive to everything, from the very basic to the most modern of the reality. The only difference lies in the difference of reality of the younger and the older culture. While writing from an environmentalist notion, he argues that the younger culture has by far contributing to the rising of violence in the world about and has gained full access to thoughts and cultures that aims to reap and harvest the seeds of violence. In his book, Hartmann cites the example of a military recruiter in the chapter 'The Power of our Point-of-View: Older and Younger Cultures', and writes:
remember in high school a recruiter for the Army came in and gave a pitch for the armed forces to our 10th grade class. "Most of the really important advances in our civilization, from the development of rockets to the discovery of antibiotics, were caused by the necessities of war," he said, providing another feel-good rationalization for the periodic mass-murder of humans. War is good: it leads to progress and lifestyle upgrades" (Hartmann, 2000).
This is one example that indicates how the mental capacity infringes on the mental capacity of others. From one reality, whatever the army recruiter said was true, but from the other reality what it imparts and inflicts on the fertile and young mind of others is the notion that war is the ultimate truth and we need to win in a war in order to survive. This notion is both very dangerous and positive too, as singularly it leads to the idea of competition in this world. But at the same time, this encouragement of competing with one another leads to a situation where everyone wants to be the best and every one wants to achieve the best. And when such does not occur due to any reason, whatsoever, frustrations emerge and this gives rise to aggression, fear, discontentment with life and eventually, much talked about, violence in the society.
Looking at the other side, if the same example can be given from other reality perspective, that does not include the killing of other for the survival of other, but that an advancement in life, the situation could be vastly reversed. Same as before the reality was that people ought to reproduce to give birth as many as possible for survival and victory, but now people needs to reproduce less for the right allocation of scarce resource. Just as this reality has changed, many other realities, or the point-of-views in the younger culture can be altered for the betterment of the society at large as is agreed by Hartmann: "Now, however, such stories imperil the very culture from which they're derived. The good news is, if we redefine our cultural norms, re-tell the stories which make up the reality we follow, then humanity's behaviors will change to conform to the new stories" (2000).
The younger culture is far more dangerous than we have perceived earlier, as it carves for more control and ten times more dominance over others that does not end in the Darwinian notion of the survival of the fittest but to the killing of the weak. Even weak has a right to prove its worth in nature and has a chance to survive. But under the younger culture, that is no doubt derived from the older culture, the weak has no place to live on earth and its very existence is a nuisance to the other dominant and the stronger ones. The possessor of the younger cultures perceives themselves to be superior, knowledgeable and worthy of every other opportunity than the rest of the world. The only aim of the younger culture and the proponents and professionals of this culture aim just to dominate and control others and the world's resources. Thy aim to practice power, energy and imperialism over the weaker ones so that the weaker ones ultimately accept their terms of living on this plant earth. This comprehension of the power and control in the younger culture is very much against the nature and its laws and has thus separated the proponents of the younger culture from the other nations of the world. This is the side effect of the younger culture, while the greater and actual effect of the younger culture is in the imbalance that is created in the world's resources and that has made millions to rebel against this oppression and repression resulting in violence in most parts of the world.
This imbalance has led the west to enjoy every comfort that the younger culture brings, while the rest of the world endures every discomfort that the younger culture implies upon them. This trend is growing and is very devastative and destructive in potential making many homeless, many lose their jobs, many fret with cold and hunger, many spell out the anguish and pain that they are enduring, many rebelling against the injustice and many ending up in violating laws and committing crimes that are regarded as heinous to humanity, like the suicidal bombing. This is the outcome and this outcome is a way for the survival of these parts of the world. This is again against the law of the nature, but this is the outcome that the unnatural younger culture and its carving to control the world has reaped.
At the end of Hartmann's book he presents his ideas for solutions to the human cultural/ecological crisis. Summarize and critique at least two of Hartmann's solutions.
There are many solutions provided by the author in the part three of the book, like the change in the perception of reality, the change in the perception of culture, bringing back the older values in to our lives and take lessons from the survivals of the older culture, balance in the resources mobilization, use of hydrogen gas to lessen and then eliminate the possibility of deterioration and elimination of the resources. If the resources are mobilized and balance is created then there is no need of a younger culture that carves to dominate and control from the bread production to the oil production. And if this happens then there is no need for the younger culture to even exhibit it self in meager, and there would be no need left, automatically to feel deprived and devastated from the effects and after effects of imperialism of the younger culture and there would be no need either to rebel, retaliate and violate the laws of the nations, world and above all the nature. In the chapter, 'The Ancient People Have Lessons For Us', Hartmann writes:
But imagine a world where feeding another person is as much an automatic response as stopping for a red light; a world where a person who fails to feed or care for another is ostracized or punished, the way we give people tickets if they run red lights; where the care of others is more important than even the care of yourself; where the teaching, "All things that you would want others to do to you, do ye even so to them," is actually practiced -- not out of effort but as part of the daily routine, as the normal way things are, as a basic assumption of society. That is San culture: the way of an Older Culture" (2000).
The ancient people have lessons for us and we can 'fix' our problems by just giving a consideration to these lessons.
Another solution lies in the will to accept the others as humans too having similar needs and problems as we have and stop dominating them with our younger culture. The solution also lies in the creation of sound realities that are optimistic and positive in every aspect.
Nevertheless, the solution that the ancient civilization has a lot to offer is eradicating our problems needs further consideration in the sense that whatever the army recruiter, as mentioned above, said was based on the history of the older culture, the ancient one, not the younger one, therefore, one needs to be cautious at the power of interpretation of the lessons from the ancient culture as there are many lessons in the ancient culture too that needs to be unlearned.
Secondly, the solution to use hydrogen gas instead of oil is shortsighted. What if hydrogen comes at a level in a century or so where the present oil reserves are? The solution needs not lie in the alternative to a problem, but in a solution. Here, I disagree with the author as he specifies an alternative to oil consumption, not a solution…[continue]
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