I’ve been reading a book titled, The Battle of Lepanto… It is about a naval battle between the Ottoman Empire and an alliance of western powers. It is cited as the beginning of the ascendance of Europe over these eastern empires. One tidbit attracted my attention… when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, they had been a land power… with the taking of this capitol of empire, they were thrust into a naval world. Constantinople sat at the confluence of land and water routes, a commercial giant for centuries. And water routes accelerated and extended a societies reach by a force of ten. However, when the Ottomans, with their new navy, met the Venetians in naval engagements, they needed at least a force of two to one against the tiny little city state of the Republic of Mark. Why? Because naval technology and culture, naval skill-craft, took centuries to develop. Just imagine all that complex rigging just to move the sails about, and then consider the enormity of natural phenomena to negotiate–without even taking into consideration naval battle strategy and tech.
When I think about our culture… I am constantly transported to the idea of Machu Pichu. A place where centuries of societal refinement battled the scarce resources against the threat of starvation and societal collapse by ingeniously managing the element most vital to that communities survival, water. Every drop was guided and diverted and utilized in a complex of labyrinthine tiered garden beds the elegance of which is enough to mirror the Cathedrals of Europe. But eventually, these ideas return me to the stark contrast posed against the backdrop of our own society. It is the circus and marketplace which seem to be the alters of worship behind the veils of ego and kitsch.
Our naval skill-craft, our horticultural elegance is expressed in tricking a young man to hawk cars to his own neighbors by manipulating their vanity and pressuring their sense of consideration into capitulation for the wealth of a far off corporate headquarters more concerned with putting out 23 useless versions of a financial ball and chain to burden the citizenry into spending much more than is necessary for a necessity of life–conveyance to and from work. If we had 5 car types from each company and highly regulated technology introduction… cars could be on the market of the lot for as little as 5 thousand a piece rather than an average cost of $33,000.
Our communities look like cookie cutter wet dreams of rag and bone men.. six lanes of traffic bounded by acres of unused treeless parking lot, where the only green space is easement between lot and street, for big box stores which leave behind little more than the ability to work a cash register and funnel the wealth out of our communities nickle and dime at a time to far off accumulations used to elect our leaders and sway public policy to assure that societal elites have a greater share each quarter to keep them in their gated communities, with private police forces for each of their eighteen homes! It’s not just absurd… it is simply idiotic.
Meanwhile, they pay the way for economists who are so clueless about their own “science” as to lack the basic understanding that capital to wages and salaries requires a regulated balance to fend off economic crisis! They may as well be wearing pointed caps adorned with crescents and stars, donning long cloaks and waving wands about for all the use they are!
It is enough to make a guy want to sink his head into a bottle, bowl or ass!
But then I come across these simple permaculture videos… and I see simple, sincere, forthright young men and women… not entirely unwittingly, laying the ground work for the new Christianity to supplant the barbarity of Rome with simple thoughtfulness and effort. blazing a trail, embarking on the development of cultural strategies to remove the hand of Mammon from our shoulders and throats… and in such a way that those foul minions will never see you, (us), coming. Who knows what strategies and forms your, (our), efforts will one day produce?