earth…had better things to offer — crops without cultivation,
fruit on the bough, honey in the hollow oak.
no one tore the ground with ploughshares
or parcelled out the land
or swept the sea with dipping oars –

the shore was the world’s end.

clever human nature, victim of your inventions,
disastrously creative,
why cordon cities with towered walls?
why arm for war?

This was written by Ovid in 60 BC. In his day, ‘civilization’ had already unleashed its crazed assault on much of the world – fuelled by annual grains that hadn’t yet evolved to be the basically-poisonous wheat we know today, and driven by the belief that anything else would be… barbarous. There was no other way to live.

Was there?

It must have been easier, then, when much of the world was still ‘barbaric’ (the original word for Celtic meant barbarian, indicating the beliefs that were stitched right into the fabric of the language of civilization) to look at them and wonder… why do we live this way?

Now there are no savages left, save a few dozen here and there who are being massacred as savages have been since we invented this stupid thing known as civilization. They’re not even USING THEIR LAND! We can cry out, justifying their deaths. It could be used for soybean production! There are starving people all over the world!

Yeah, because since we started this whole civilization thing 10 000 years ago, we’ve REALLY made a dent in world hunger.

Not.

Not at freaking all.

That is why I advocate ‘Prepping’ – ie, preparing for the apocalypse. Here’s the fun and exciting catch: the apocalypse is optional! Why not prepare yourself for a life of leisure, living off of the sustainable bounty of the Earth?

Or, to put the question another way,

Why cordon cities with towered walls… why arm for war?