Thursday, March 22, 2018

Early Colonies

For obvious reasons, Colonialism is associated with its most recent incarnation. A distant land with a superiority complex, on a mixture of a commercial and civilizing mission. Money and God. But we have always been wanderers. We know that every person alive descended from a single female who lived in Africa. People arrived in South America in the Paleolithic period when people grouped into small bands and went searching for food.

The early colonists wouldn't have been connected to earlier settlements other than by new wanderers, old lingering words, and a stretched supply line of physical features that adjusted to local conditions. They would mostly have been starting again.

I know how useless I am at a lot of pretty basic tasks. Mostly because I never had to learn them. Either because someone else did them because they loved me, or I could pay. I certainly don't personally know all the people who do things for me, or what doing those things for me entails. I don't even know where my food comes from.

I like the idea of a society where you don't ask anyone to do anything for you that you would not be prepared to do for yourself. That doesn't mean you have to do everything, or could do everything, but it removes the 'those tasks are below me' element.

The life of Genghis Khan, who founded one of the largest Empires the world has ever seen, was not that different from the lowest members of his original band of wanderers. Maybe just a slightly bigger Ger. As we have stopped wandering, the lives of those who stand still seem to have stretched apart.

I wonder how we would think differently if we were part of small groups of 150 people that connected us to everyone else. Names. Faces. Stories. The stuff that makes us human.

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