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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 757)...

    In the response #551, you wrote: "I've never said that Leavers and Takers can be distinguished by the way they get their food. They can be distinguished by what they DO with their food. Among Leaver peoples, food is free for the taking. Takers keep it under lock and key so that you have to work for it." If locking up the food is a trait that can be used to identify a culture as Taker, why isn't the act of getting the food through Totalitarian Agriculture such a trait as well?

    ...and the response:

    Totalitarian Agriculture produces food in the same way as any other form of agriculture; that is, a seed planted by a practitioner of Totalitarian Agriculture grows in exactly the same way as a seed planted by a practitioner of any other form of agriculture. In other words, Totalitarian Agriculture is a way of handling the food resources of the world, not a way of growing food.

    I've never said that one single characteristic (and that single characteristic alone) identifies a people as Takers. Takers take the rule of the world into their own hands (which is why I call them "Takers"), and they can be identified by this trait. (Leavers leave the rule of the world in the hands of the gods, which is why I call them "Leavers.") Takers practice Totalitarian Agriculture, and they can be identified by this trait. Takers keep the food under lock and key, and they can be identified by this trait. I've identified several other traits peculiar to Takers (for example, they believe that they have the one right way for people to live and that everyone in the world must be made to live that way), but they can be found in my books — they don't need to be repeated here.


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