Human domestication I: Living in a zoo

Human domestication.
Being civilized: this word that sounds very positive, and in so many ways is.
We have this wonderful system that we live within that provides unimagined, unimaginable in earlier times levels of safety, security.
A whole framework for living our lives in which we don’t have to worry about basic survival.
As long as we can operate within the system, make enough money for basic shelter and food, we don’t need to face these basic survival issues.
Now, of course, with all the exceptions, and all the the dangerous things that can happen within civilization, certainly.
But it insulates us in so many ways from this sort of raw nature, the wild, where we have no guarantees of and no easy way to get food.
We have no guarantees that others won’t rob from us and kill us.
And there’s just no- the level of safety simply isn’t there in the wild.
Either the safety of getting what we need to survive, and the safety of not having it taken away and not being killed.
So compared to that state of nature, that wild living outside the law, outside civilization, alone or in our groups, in the wild, compared to that, we have a huge advantage, as people living in this civilization.
But there’s always a price to be paid, of course.
We can decide whether it’s worth it, because we’re certainly getting a lot out of it.
So we can decide that it’s a worthwhile price to pay.
But I think we should be aware of the price.
And there’s something that is becoming increasingly clear to me, and it’s really shouting louder to me recently.
It’s that when we think of what it means to be a civilized human, to be living in this orderly system, where we do everything within the system and we’re taken care of with minimal effort, except as necessary to work within the system.
We do what we need to to make the money we need, and then we can easily spend that money to buy shelter and food.
With all the exceptions and the difficulties, of course.
But we are being taken care of in a level that would be unimaginable in the wild.
And what it reminds me of is a zoo.
It reminds me of an animal that is being taken care of.
We operate within a defined environment, much like a nicely laid out zoo pen.
And we do what we need to to get- we get given food.
Not quite for doing nothing.
We have to find some way to make the money.
But it’s all within a very orderly system.
And as long as we’re able to make the money and behave in a way that’s acceptable within the system, we can live out our lives in safety, relatively, inside the zoo.
Now what does that mean?
What effect does that have?
It’s got to be doing something.
We are being changed.
The humans that we see now: being a domesticated animal is different than being a wild animal.
We have changed.
We are changing.
When you look at those animals in the zoo, there’s something sad about them.
When you see these animals that are just in a pen, even if it’s a very nice pen.
they don’t have the same kind of energy to them.
This kind of feeling of vitality is somehow reduced, because they’re just being taken care of within their defined area.
I remember seeing this tiger in a zoo.
I’ll never forget seeing a tiger, and it was just walking back and forth.
It would walk to one end and then it would turn around and walk to the other end, and it was just in this kind of repetitive action of just walking back and forth.
It just seemed kind of psychologically damaged.
It was just like it was stuck in a loop where it didn’t know what else to do.
It was kind of freaking out, but there was nothing it could do, so it was just in this sort of repeated tick, this repeated habit of behaviour.
And it seems like so many humans fall into the same thing.
So many of the issues that we have parallel the issues of animals in a zoo.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think about this.
And it’s kind of chilling to think about being an animal in a zoo.
Of course, on the other hand, I don’t know if we’re at all ready for living in the wild.
And I don’t want to have any illusions about the wild being a wonderful paradise place, because it’s also a place of violence and danger and very easy death.
So it’s not like the wild is this magical paradise that we can all get into if we just break out of the zoo.
But just the fact that we’re in a zoo it seems to have its unavoidable effects.
So I’d be very curious to hear what you think about this idea.

#humanzoo #humandomestication #domesticatedhumans

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