Loading
Note: Beware of a website proclaiming to be New Tribal Ventures/An Ishmael Community! Do not reply to any request for information. Our legitimate pages are available on our site here & on the navigation to the left.
HOME

DQ on Facebook!Follow Us on
 Facebook!


FIND OUT ABOUT
What's new
Daniel Quinn
Daniel Quinn's books
Schools & courses
Telephone Conferences
This website
New Tribal Ventures
Ishmael's Annex
Speaking Invitations
Events

THINGS TO DO
Register
Visit Guestbook
Find others
Help us
Order books
Contact us
Telephone Conferences
Special Requests

THINGS TO READ
Essays
Speeches
Dialogues
Parables
Answers to Questions
DQ's suggested reading
DQ's Blog

FOR TEACHERS
The Ishmael Companion
Beyond Civilization
 Study Guide


  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 577)...

    I've noticed that our cultural vision is often self-contradicting. For example, Mother Culture tells us that (1), our destiny is to conquer and rule the earth, yet at the same time (2), we are fundamentally flawed and we cannot help destroying the earth. Am I correct that since these beliefs are mainly subconscious, it is possible for us to fully believe things simultaneously? Are there any similar contradictions found in Leaver cultures?

    ...and the response:

    These beliefs are entirely conscious, not subconscious; they're simply unexamined, unquestioned. Because they're fundamentally contradictory, Mother Culture must provide arguments to support both sides of them. We are the highest product of evolution (or God), but we are inherently flawed and inclined toward evil; most people are completely comfortable holding both views. Our nature manifestly fits us to rule the world; but we are the most destructive force on earth; most people are completely comfortable holding both views. The way we live is the way humans were meant to live from the beginning of time, but the way we live produces crime, misery, poverty, hunger, madness, and chaos on a massive scale; most people are completely comfortable holding both views. The contradictory nature of our central cultural beliefs doesn't trouble us, because it's supported by a belief that there are two sides to every question (a belief that in turn supports the contradictory nature of our central cultural beliefs). It's hard to think of a single issue or value on which we are not divided. We view division as the normal way of conducting social business. Our modus operandi is inherently adversarial at every level: Whig/Tory; Liberal/Conservative; feminist/antifeminist; pro-life/pro-choice; prosecution/defense. After the WTC attack, everyone said, "Well, at least it's brought us all together." I knew this would be a very temporary condition. Within days we found a way to divide ourselves into two camps: those who thought we'd invited the attack by our own actions and those who thought we hadn't. This is yet another bizarre aspect of our culture--and peculiar to our culture. One of the most striking things about Leaver peoples is the rarity of such factionalism. And I'm unaware of any Leaver belief systems that are self-contradictory (though of course this doesn't prove there aren't any).


Go Back OR return to the Questions & Answers OR Browse to the Next Question
Site design and content, © 2018, Daniel Quinn