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47004Re: Move into new life

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  • Thor
    Sep 3, 2006
      Sharon, I agree with your general thesis but would suggest that
      Romanticizing indigenous culture is not counter-productive.

      Romanticism; This early 19th- century movement elevated the individual,
      the passions, and the inner life. It stressed strong emotion,
      imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and
      rebellion against social conventions.

      The concept of the noble savage has particular associations with
      romanticism and with Rousseau's romantic philosophy in particular.
      Rousseau's 1754 masterpiece "Discourse On Inequality" which, along with
      Rousseau's later book, "The Social Contract," was a primary influence of
      Jefferson and the DemocraticRepublicans. Rousseau opened "The Social
      Contract" (and jolted Enlightenment thinkers, including - in a big way -
      Jefferson) with this sentence: "Man is born free, but everywhere is in

      Ben Franklin had introduced the Albany Plan of Union at a meeting
      attended by both his pre-revolutionary compatriots and a delegation from
      the Iroquois Confederation. Franklin had earlier attended an Iroquois
      Condolence Ceremony in 1753, and used Iroquois symbols both in his
      language and his design for early American currency. In 1770, Franklin
      wrote,"Happiness is more generally and equally diffus�d among
      Savages than in civilized societies. No European who has tasted savage
      life can afterwards bear to live in our societies."
      An interesting read�Franklin,Remarks Concerning the Savages

      In 1747, Reverend Cadwallader Colden wrote of the growing exodus of
      Whites for Indian life: "No Arguments, no Intreaties, nor Tears of their
      Friends and relations, could persuade many of them to leave their new
      Indian Friends and Acquaintance; several of them that were by the
      Caressings oftheir Relations persuaded to come Home, in a little Time
      grew tired of our Manner of living, and ran away again to the Indians,
      and ended their Days with them."

      Some suggest these romanticized views transformed the Enlightenment
      into the Declaration of Independence, and that into the United States of

      Over the next hundred years, as more and more Whites encountered Native
      Americans, the incidence of Whites joining Indian tribes dramatically
      increased. Derisively termed "White Indians" by the colonists, thousands
      of European immigrants to the Americas simply walked away from the
      emerging American society to join various Indian tribes. Ethnohistorian
      James Axtell wrote that these early settlers joined the Indians
      because"they found Indian life to possess a strong sense of community,
      abundant love, and uncommon integrity�" Axtell quoted two White
      Indians who wrote to the people they�d left behind that they�d
      found, "the most perfect freedom, the ease of living, the absence of
      those cares and corroding solicitudes which so often prevail with us."

      Colden wrote: "�Indian Children have been carefully educated among
      the English, cloathed and taught, yet, I think, there is not one
      Instance, that any of these, after they had Liberty to go among their
      own People, and were come to Age, would remain with the English, but
      returned to their own Nations, and became as fond of the Indian Manner
      as those that knew nothing of a civilized Manner of living."

      James Bricknell, who was captured by the Delaware in the early 1800s and
      lived among them for several years before returning to his family, wrote
      in 1842: "The Delawares are the best people to train up children I ever
      was with� Their leisure hours are, in a great measure, spent in
      training up their children to observe what they believe to be
      right� They certainly follow what they are taught to believe right
      more closely, and Imight say more honestly, in general, than we
      Christians� I know I am influenced to good, even at this day, more
      from what I learned among them, than what I learned among people of my
      own color."

      The values of some indigenous cultures seem more in congruence with the
      virtues that bind humanity and the bonds, which create the universe.
      However, as you point out, they paid an exorbitant price to live in this
      manner. Why can we not make it far more affordable?

      Indigenous Peoples and Neotropical Forest Conservation: Impacts of
      Protected Area Systems on Traditional Cultures. Indigenous Peoples and
      Neotropical Forest Conservation

      Environment, Economy and Energy in Costa Rica: The Case Study of
      Petroleum Exploration in the Province of Límon. Environment, Economy
      and Energy in Costa Rica

      (many of us depended on consumption of goods to generate a paycheck).
      True and some had to rob (Enron) some kill (soldiers) some
      pollute(Exxon) and others become politicians in order to survive but
      does that suggest we are incapable of reform? Do we acquiesce to a
      system that primarily offers addictive diversions interrupted by
      ever-sharper episodes of anxiety?

      Advanced technologies do not preclude any lifestyle from choosing to
      renounce manual labour. Especially when it is in servitude to others out
      of necessity rather than choice. Advanced technologies provide us the
      ability to organize ourselves politically and socially far different
      than what was required to facilitate Industrialization. Technology has
      turned what was once fantasy into reality.

      Romanticism; a portrayal of life as the writer wishes it could be--more
      adventurous, fantastic, and picturesque. Why Not?

      I don’t think the current debate should revolve around the issue
      of what got us to where we are today but rather what can we do with the
      knowledge and understanding that has been acquired. I suggest that
      sharing is the best method to turn this information into wisdom. In my
      opinion, progress comes from accepting empirical observations when they
      conflict with our romanticized ideals, not instead of them.
      PS...My neighbor came from a family of 17. He has 2 children. His
      explanation ....TV

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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