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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 123)...

    If Ishmael would call the brutal Kurgan nomads from the east Takers why would he term the Semitic herders of the Arabian peninsula Leavers (pp171-2) since both peoples practiced the same pastoralist lifestyle?

    ...and the response:

    The Kurgans and the Semites DIDN'T practice "the same pastoralist lifestyle"---and indeed that's the whole point. Pastoralism is practiced by both Leavers and Takers, just as agriculture is. Some pastoralists are Takers (like, say, the Huns) and some are Leavers (like, say, the Masai of Africa). In other words, it isn't pastoralism (or agriculture) that makes people Takers. What makes people Takers is a particular worldview that can be expressed as a set of interrelated beliefs: that the world was made for us to use as we please, that all other creatures live here at our sufferance, and that everyone in the world should live the way we live. The Kurgans embodied this worldview in the extreme. The ancient Semites did not. The fact that they were both pastoralists is irrelevant.


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