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March 15, 1970 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-15

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MURRAY BOOKCHIN
Ecology andrevolutionary thought

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Murray Bookhin was a featured
speaker at the ENACT Teach-in on the Environment.)
I N ALMOST EVERY period since the Renaissance,
the development of revolutionary thought has
been heavily influenced by a branch of science, often
in conjunction with a school of philosophy.
Astronomy in the time of Copernicus and Galileo
helped to guide a sweeping movement of ideas from
the, medieval world, riddled by superstition, into
one pervaded by a critical rationalism, openly
naturalistic and humanistic in outlook. During the
Enlightenment-the era that culminated in the
French revolution - this liberatory movement of
ideas was reinforced by advances in mechanics and
mathematics. The Victorian Era was shaken to its
very foundations by evolutionary theories In biology
and anthropology, by Marx's 're-working of Ricard-
ian economics and towards its end, by Freudian psy-
chology.
In our own time, we have seen the assimilation of
these once liberatory sciences by the established so-
cial order. Indeed, we have begun to regard science
itself as an instrument of control over the thought
processes and physical being of man. This distrust
of science and of the scientific methods not without
justification. "Many sensitive people, especially art-.
ists," observes Abraham Maslow, "are afraid that
science besmirches and depresses, that it t e a r s
things apart rather than integrating them, thereby
killing rather than creating." What is perhaps equal-
ly important, modern science has lost its critical
edge. Largely functional or instrumental in intent,
the branches of science that once tore at the chains
of man are now used to perpetuate and gild them.
There is one science, however, that may yet re--
store and even transcend the liberatory estate of the
traditional sciences and philosophie. It passes rath-
er loosely under the name of "ecology" - a term
coined by Haeckel a century ago to denote "the in-
vestigation of the total relations of the animal both
to its inorganic and to its organic environment." At
first glance, Haeckel's definition sound innocuous
enough; and ecology, narrowly conceived as one of
the biological sciences, is often reduced to a variety
of biometrics in which field workers focus on food
chains and statistical studies of animal populations.
There is an ecology of health that would hardly of-
fend the sensibilities of the American Medical As-
sociation and a concept of social ecology that would
conform to the most well-engineered notions of the
New York City Planning Commission.
Broadly conceived, however, ecology deals with
the balance of nature. Inasmuch as nature includes
man. This focus has explosive implications. The ex-
plosive implications of an ecological approach arise
not only from the fact that ecology is intrinsically a
critical science - in fact, critical on a scale that
the most radical systems of political economy failed
to attain - but it is also an integrative and recon-
structive science. This integrative, reconstructive as-
pect of ecology, carried through to all its implica-
tions, leads directly into anarchic areas of social
thought. For in the final analysis, it is impossible to
achieve a harmonization of man and nature without
creating a human community that lives in a lasting
balance with its natural environment.
LET US EXAMINE the critical edge of ecology -
a unique feature of the science in a period of gen-
eral scientific docility.
Basically, this critical edge derives from the sub-
ject-matter of ecology - from its very domain. The
issues with which ecology deals are imperishible in
the sense that they cannot be ignored without bring-
ing into question the viability of the planet, indeed
the survival of man himself. The critical edge of
ecology is due not so much to the power of human
reason - a power which science hallowed during ks
most revolutionary periods - but to a still higher
power, the sovereignty of nature over man and all
his activities. It may be that man is manipulable,
as the owners of the mass media argue, or that ele-
ments of nature are manipulable, as the engineers
demonstrate by their dazzling achievements, but
ecology clearly shows that the totality of the natural
world -- nature taken in all its aspects, cycles, and
interrelationships - cancels out all human preten-
sions to mastery over the planet. The great waste-
lands of North Africa and the eroded hills of Greece,
once areas of a thriving agriculture or a rich natural
flora, are historic evidence of nature's revenge
against human parasitism, be it in the form of soil
exploitation or deforestation.
Modern man's despoilation of the environment is
global in scope, like his imperialisms. It is even ex-
tra-terrestrial, as witness the disturbances of the
Van Allen Belt a few years ago. Human parasitism,

today, disrupts not only the atmosphere, climate,
water resources, soil, flora, and fauna of a region;
it upsets virtually all the basic cycles of nature and
threatens to undermine the stability of the environ-
ment on a world-wide scale.
Nearly all the surface waters of the United States
are polluted. Many American waterways are open
cesspools that properly qualify as extensions of ur-
ban sewage systems. It would be a euphemism to de-
scribe them any longer as' rivers or lakes. More sig-
nificantly, large portions of groundwater are suffi-
ciently polluted to be undrinkable, even medically
hazardous, and a number of local hepatitis epidemics'
have been traced to polluted wells in suburban areas.
Accounts of this kind can be repeated for vir-
tually every part of the biosphere. Pages can be
written on the immense losses of productive soil
that occur annually in almost every continent of
the earth; on the extensive loss of the tree cover in
areas vulnerable to erosion; on lethal air-pollution
episodes in major urban areas; on the world-wide
distribution of toxic agents, such as radioactive iso-
topes and lead; on the chemicalization of man's im-
mediate environment - one might say his very din-
ner table - with pesticide residues and food addi-
tives. Pieced together like bits of a jigsaw puzzle,
these affronts to the environment form a pattern of
destruction that has no precedent in man's long his-
tory on the earth.
Obviously, man would be dismissed as a highly
destructive parasite, who threatens to destroy his

into a destructive parasite? What produces a form
of human parasitism that results not only in vast
natural imbalances, but also threatens the very ex-
istence of humanity itself?
The truth is that man has produced imbalances
not only in nature but more fundamentally, in his
relations with his fellow man - in the very structure
of his society. To state this thought more precisely:
The imbalances man has produced in the natural
world are caused by the imbalances he has produced
in the social world.
WHAT WE ARE SEEING, today, is a crisis not
only in natural ecology but, above all, in social
ecology. Modern society, especially as we know it in
the United States and Europe, is being organized
around immense urban belts at one extreme, a high-
ly industrialized agriculture at the other extreme,
and capping both, a swollen, bureaucratized, anon-
ymous state apparatus. If we leave all values aside,
for the moment, and examine the physical structure
of this society, what must necessarily impress us is
the incredible logistical problems it must try to solve
- problems of transportation, of density, of supply
(raw materials, manufactured commodities, and
foodstuffs) of economic and political organization, of
industrial location, and so forth. The burden this
type of urbanized and centralized society places on
any continental area is enormous. If the process of
urbanizing man and industrializing agriculture were
to continue unabated, it would make much of the
earth inhospitable for viable, healthy human beings
and render vast areas utterly uninhabitable.
From the standpoint of ecology, man is dan-
gerously simplifying his environment. The modern
city represents a regressive encroachment of the syn-
thetic on the natural, of the inorganic (concrete,
metals, and glass) on the organic, of crude elemen-
tal stimuli on variegated, wide-ranging ones. The
vast urban belts now developing in industrialized
areas of the world are not only grossly offensive to
eye and ear, but t h e y are becoming chronically
smog- ridden, noisy, and virtually immobilized by
congestion.
This process of simplifying man's environment
and rendering it increasingly elemental and crude
has a cultural as well as a physical dimension. The
need to manipulate immense urban populations -
to transport, feed, employ, educate, and somehow
entertain millions of densely concentrated people
daily - leads to a crucial decline in civic and social
standards. A mass concept of human relations -
totalitarian, centralistic, and regimented in orienta-
tion - tends to dominate the more individuated
concepts of the past. Bureaucratic techniques of so-
cial management tend to replace humanistic ap-
proaches. All that is spontaneous, creative, and in-
dividuated is circumscribed by the standardized, the
regulated, and the massified. The space of the in-
dividual is steadily narrowed by restrictions imposed
upon him by a faceless, impersonal social apparatus.
"Any recognition of unique personal qualities is in-
creasingly surrendered to the needs - more precise-
ly, the manipulation - of the group, indeed of the
lowest common denominator of the mass. A quan-
titative, statistical approach, a beehive manner of
dealing with man, tends to triumph over that prec-
ious, individualized-qualities approach which places
its strongest emphasis on personal uniqueness, free
expression, and cultural complexity.
The same regressive simplification of the envir-
onment occurs in modern agriculture. The manipu-
lated people in modern cities must be fed, and to
feed them involves an extension of industrial farm-
ing. Food plants must be cultivated in a manner
that allows for a high degree of mechanization -
not to reduce human toil but in increase productiv-
ity, efficiency, maximum investments, exploit the
biosphere. Accordingly the terrain must be reduced
to a flat plain - to a factory floor, if you will -
and natural variations in topography must be dimin-
ished as much as possible. Plant growth must be
closely regulated to meet the tight schedules of food-
processing plants. Ploughing, soil fertilization, sow-
ing, and harvesting must be handled on a mass
scale, often in total disregard of the natural ecology
of an area. Large areas of the land must be used to
cultivate a single crop, a form of plantation agri-
culture that not only lends itself to mechanization
but also to pest infestation - a single crop being the
ideal environment for the proliferation of individual
pest species.
The simplification process is carried still further
by an exaggerated regional, indeed a national divis-
ion of labor. Immense areas of the planet are in-
creasingly reserved for specific industrial tasks or re-
duced to depots of raw materials. Others are turned
into centers of urban population, largely occupied
with commerce and trade.
The complex ecosystems which make up the re-

gions of a continent are submerged, in effect, by an
organization of entire nations into economically rat-
ionalized entities, each a way-station in a vast in-
dustrial belt system, global in its dimensions.
The point is that man is literally undoing the
work of organic evolution. By creating vast urban
agglomerations of concrete, metal, and glass, by
overriding and undermining the complex, often sub-
tly organized ecosystems that constitute local dif-
ferences in the natural world - in short by replac-
ing a highly complex, organic environment by a
simplified, inorganic one - man is disassembling
the biotic pyramid that supported humanity for
countless millenia. In the course of replacing the
complex ecological relationships on which all ad-
vanced living things depend for more elementary
relationships, man is steadily restoring the biosphere
to a stage which will be able to support only simpler
forms of life. If this great reversal of the evolution-
ary process continues, it is by no means fanciful to
suppose that the preconditions for higher forms of
life will be irreparably destroyed and the earth will
be incapable of supporting man himself.
Ecology derives its critical edge not only from
the fact that it alone, among all the sciences, pre-
sents this awesome message to humanity, but be-
cause it also presents this message in a new social
dimension. From an ecological viewpoint, the rever-
sal of organic evolution is the result of appalling
contradictions between town and country, state and
renm mimtln irinof--.-,, n , khivzh Anrv n. ncc. n -,,-

medieval commune. His yearnings for a decentraliz-
ed society, for a humanistic community at one with
nature and the needs of the individual - spontan-
eousg and unfettered by authority - were viewed
as the reactions of a romantic, of a declassed crafts-
man or an intellectual "misfit." His protest against
centralization and satisfaction seemed all the less
persuasive because it was supported primarily by
ethical considerations, by utopian, ostensibly "un-
realistic" notions of what man could be, not what he
was. To this protest, opponents of anarchist thought
- liberals, rightists, and authoritarian "leftists" -
argued that they were the voices of historic reality,
that their statist, centralist, and political notions
were rooted in the objective practical world.
Time is not very kind to the conflict of ideas
Whatever may have been the validity of libertarian
and non-libertarian views a few generations ago,
historically development has rendered virtually all
objections to anarchist thought meaningless today.
The modern city and state, the massive coal-steel
technology of the Industrial Revolution, the later,
more rationalized systems of mass production and
assembly-line systems of labor organization, the
centralized nation, the state and its bureaucratic
apparatus - all, have reached their limits. What-
ever progressive or liberatory role they may have
possessed has clearly become entirely regressive and
oppressive. They are regressive not only because they
erode the human spirit and drain the community
of all its cohesive, solidarity, and ethico-cultural
standards; they are regressive from an objective
standpoint, from an ecological standpoint. For they
undermine not only the human spirit and ,the hu-
man community but also the viability of the planet
and all living things on it.
What I am trying to say - and it cannot be
emphasized too strongly - is that the anarchist
concept of a balanced community, a face-to-face
democracy, a humanistic technology, and a decen-
tralized society - these rich libertarian concepts are
not only desirable but they are also necessary. They
belong not only to ,the great visions of man's fu-
ture but they now constitute the preconditions for
human survival. The process of social development
has carried them from an ethical, subjective dimen-
sion into a practical, objective dimension. What was
once;regarded as impractical and visionary has now
become eminently practical. And what was once re-
garded as practical and objective has become emin-
ently impractical and irrelevant in terms of man's
development towards a fuller, unfettered existence.
If community, face-to-face democracy, a humanistic,
liberatory technology, and decentralization are con-

fied and carefully tended, balanced by a fauna and
tree shelter appropriate to the region.
Decentralization is important, moreover, not only
for the development of the agricultural situation, but
also for the development of the agriculturist. Food
cultivation, practiced in a truly ecological sense, pre-
supposes that the agriculturist is familiar with all
the features and subtleties of the terrain on which
the crops are grown. By this I mean that he must
have a thorough knowledge of the physiography of
the land, its variegated soils - crop land, forest
land, pasture land; mineral and organic content -
its microclimate, and he must be engaged in a con-
tinuing study of the effects produced by new flora
and fauna. He must acquire a sensitivity to its pos-
sibilities and needs to a point where he becomes an
organic part of the agricultural situation We can
hardly hope to achieve this high degree of sensitivity
and integration in the food cultivator without re-
ducing agriculture to a human scale, without bring-
ing agriculture within the scope of the individual.
To meet the demands of -an ecological approach to
food cultivation, agriculture must be resealed from
huge industrial farms to moderate-sized units.
The same reasoning applies to a rational develop-
ment of energy resources. The Industrial Revolu-
tion increased the quantity of energy available to in-
dustry, but it diminished the variety of energy re-
sources used by man. Although it is certainly true
that pre-industrial societies relied primarily on an-
imal power and human muscles, complex energy
patterns developed in many regions of Europe, in-
volving a subtle integration of resources such as wind
and water power, and a variety of fuels (wood, peat,
coal, vegetable starches, and animal fats).
The Industrial Revolution overwhelmed 'and
largely destroyed these regional energy patterns,
initially replacing them by a single energy system
(coal) and later by a dual system (coal and pe-
troleum). Regions disappeared as models of inte-
grated energy patterns - indeed, the very concept
of integration through diversity was obliterated.
We can, of course, turn to nuclear fuels, Con-
ceived as a single-gnergy-resource, it is chilling to
think of the lethal radioactive wastes that would re-
quire disposal as power reactors replace conventiohal
fuel systems. Eventually, an energy system based on
radioactive materials would lead to the widespread
contamination of the environment - at first, in a
subtle form, but later on a massive and palpably
destructive scale.
OR WE COULD APPLY ecological principles to
the solution of our energy problems. We could
try to re-establish regional energy patterns - a
combined system of energy provided by wind, water,
and solar power. But today we would be aided by
more sophisticated devices than any known in the
past. We have now designed wind turbines that could
supply electricity in a number of mountanious areas
to meet the electric-power needs of a community
of 50,000 people. We have perfected solar-energy de-
vices that yield temperatures high enough in our
warmer latitudes to deal with 'most metallurgical
problems. Used in conjunction with heat pumps,
many solar devices could provide as much as three-
quarters - if not all - of the heat required to
comfortably maintain a' small family house. And at
this writing the French are completing a tidal dam
at the mouth of the Rance River in Brittany that
is expected to produce more than 500 million kilo-
watt-hours of electricity a year. In time, the Rance
River project will meet most of the electrical needs
of northern France.
Solar devices, wind turbines, and hydro-electric
resources-each, taken singly, does not provide a
(solution for our energy problems and the ecological
disruption created by conventional fuels. Pieced to-
gether as a mosaic, more precisely, as an organic
energy pattern develop from the potentialities of a
region, they could amply meet the needs of a de-
centralized society. In warm, sunny latitudes, we
could rely more heavily on solar energy than on com-
bustible fuels. In areas marked by atmospheric tur-
bulence, we could rely more heavily on wind devices.
and in suitable coastal areas or inland regions with
a good network of rivers, the greater part of our
energy would come from hydro-electric installations.
In all cases, we would use a mosaic of nonfiom-
bustile energy resources, filling whatever gaps de-
velop by combustible and nuclear fuels.
As in the case of agriculture, however, the ap-
plication of ecological principles to energy resources
presupposes a far-reaching decentralization of so-
ciety and a truly regional concept of social organ-
ization. To maintain a large city requires immense
packages of fuel-mountans of coal and veritable
oceans of petroleum. By contrast, solar, wind. and
tital energy can reach us mainly in small packets:

except for spectacular tidal dams, the new devices'
seldom provides more than a few thousand ilowatt-
hours of electricity. It is difficult to believe that we.
will ever be able to design solar collectors that can
furnish us with immense blocks of electric power
produced by a giant steam plant; it is equally dif-
ficult to conceive of a battery of wind turbinps that
will provide us with enough electricity to illuminate
Manhattan Island.
If homes and factories are heavily concentrated,
devises for using clean sources of energy will prob-
ably remain mere playthings, but if urban commu-
nities are reduced in size and widely dispersed over
the land, there is no reason why these devices can-
not be comnbined to provide us with all the amenities
of an industrialized civilization. To use solar, wind
and tidal power effectively, the megalopolis must be
decentrailzed. A new type of community, carefuly
tailored to the characteristics and resources of a re-
gion, must replace the sprawling urban belts that are
emerging today.
An objective case for decentralization, to be sure,
does not end with a discussion of agriculture and
the problems created by combustible energy re-
sources. The validity of the decentralist case can be
demonstrated for nearly all the "logistical" problems
of our time. At the risk of being cursory, let me cite
an example from a problematical area such as tran-
sportation. A great deal has been written quite re-
cently about the harmful effects of gasoline-driven
motor vehicles-their wastefulness, their role in
urban air pollution, the noise they contribute to the
city environment, the enormous death toll they claim
annually in the large cities of the world and on high-
ways. In a highly urbanized civilization, it would
be meaningless to replace these noxious vehicles by
clean, efficient, virtually noiseless, and certainly
safer battery-powered vehicles. The best of our elec-
tric cars must be recharged about every hundred
miles-a feature which limits their usefulness for
transportation in large cities. In a small, decentral-
ip ci nn,,---,ni +r it -,nnwnxps-, it. hnnrxn00O~c a nt-iiv, fra -

The problem of urban air pollution is more in-
tractable than we care to believe. Basically, air pol-
lution is caused by high population densities, by an
excessive concentration of people in a small area.
The fact is that millions of people, densely con-
centrated in a large city, necessarily produce serious
local air pollution merely by their day-to-day activi-
ties. Quite aside from the pollution-control devices
we add to automobiles and power plants, it should
be fairly clear that whatever improvements these
devices will produce in the quality of urban air will
be more than cancelled out by future megalopolitan
growth.
'HE SOCIAL POSSIBILITIES opened by decen-
tralization could be discussed indefifnitely and,
in any case, there is more to anarchism than decen-
tralized communities. If I have examined these pos-
sibilities in, some detail, it has been to demonstrate
that an anarchist society, far from being a remote
ideal, has become a pre-condition for the practice
of ecological principles.
To sum up the critical message of ecology: If we
diminish variety in the natural world, we debase its
unity and wholeness. We destroy the, forces making
for natural harmony and stability, for a lasting
equilibrium, and what is even more significant, we
introduce an absolute retrogression in the develop-
ment of the natural world, eventually rendering the
environment unfit for advanced forms of life, To
sum up the reconstructive message of ecology: If we
wish to advance the unity and stability of the
natural world, if we wish to harmonize it on ever
higher level of development, we must conserve and
promote variety.
Both ecologists and anarchists place a s t r o n g
emphasis on spontaneity. The ecologist, in so far as
he is more than a technician, tends to reject the
notion of "power" over nature. He speaks instead
of "steering" his way through an ecological situation,
of managing rather than recreating an ecosystem.
The anarchist, in turn, speaks in terms of social
spontaneity, of releasing the potentialities of society
and humanity, of giving free and unfettered reign
to the creativity of people. Both, in their own ways,
regard austhority as inhibitory, as a weight limiting
the creative potential of a natural and social situ-
ation. Their object is not to rule a domain, but to f
release it. They regard insight, reason, and knowl-
edge as means for fulfilling the potentialities of a
situation, as facilitating the working out of the logic
of a situation, not of replacing these potentialities
with preconceived notions or distorting their devel-
opment with dogmas.
Turning, now, to Read's words, the next thing n.
that strikes us is that both the ecologist and ainar-
chist view differentiation as a measure of progress.
The ecologist uses the term "biotic pyramid" in
speaking of biological advances; the anarchist, the
word "individuation" to denote social advances. If
we go beyond Read, we will observe that, to both
the ecologist and -anarchist, an ever-enlarging unity as
is achieved by growing differentiation. An expanding
whole is created by the diversification and enrich-
ment of the parts.
Just as the ecologist seeks to elaborate the range
of an ecosystem and promote a freer interplay be-
tween species, so the anarchist seeks to elaborate
the range of social experience and remove all fetters
to its development. To state my point more con-
cretely: Anarchismis not only a stateless society
but also a harmonized society which- exposes man
to the simuli 'provided by both agrarian and urban
life, physical activity and mental activity, unrepress-
ed sensuality and self-directed spirituality com-
munal solidarity and individual developnent, re-
gional uniqueness and world-wide brotherhood, spon-
taneity and self-discipline, the elimination of toil
and the promotion of craftsmanship.

ceived of merely as reactions to the prevailing state
of affairs - a vigorous "nay" to the "yea" of what
exists today - a compelling objective case can now
be made for the practicality of an anarchist society.
WHAT IS MOST SIGNIFICANT about ecology is
its ability to convert this rejection of the status
quo often nihilistic in character, into an emphatic
affirmation of life - indeed, into a reconstructive
credo for a humanistic society. The essence of ecol-
ogy's reconstructive message can be summed up in
the word "diversity." From an ecological viewpoint,
balance and harmony in nature, in society, and by
inference, in behavior, is achieved not by mechan-
ical standardization, but precisely by its opposite, or-
ganic differentiation. This. message can be under-
stood clearly only by examining its practical mean-
ing on several levels of experience.
Let us consider the ecological principle of diver-
sity - what Charles Elton calls the "conservation of
variety" - as it applies to biology, specifically to
agriculture. A number of studies - Lotka's and
Volterra's mathematical models, Gause's experiments
with protozoa and mites in controlling environments,
and extensive field research - clearly demonstrate
that fluctuations in populations, ranging from mild
to pest-like proportions, depend heavily upon the
number of species in an ecosystem and the degree
of variety in the environment. The greater the va-
riety of prey and predators, the more stable the pop-
ulation; the more diversified the environment in
terms of flora and fauna, the less likely is there to
be ecological instability. Complexity, variety, and
diversity - choose whatever term you will -- are
a function of stability. If the environment is sim-
plified and the variety of animal and plant species
is reduced, fluctuations in population become mark-
ed and tend to get out of control. They tend to reach
pest proportions.
In the case of pest control, many ecologists now
conclude that we can avoid the repetitive use of
toxic chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides
by allowing for a greater interplay between living
things. We must accord more room for natural spon-

THE GREEKS; we are often reminded, would have
been horrified by a city whose size and oopula-
tion precluded a personal, often familiar, relation-
ship between citizens. However true this precept
may have been in practice two thousand years ago
it is singularly applicable today. There is plainly
a need to reduce the dimensions of the human com-
munity-partly to solve our pollution and transpor-
tation problems, partly also to} create real com-
munities. In a sense, we must humanize humanity.
There should be a minimum of electronic devices-
telephones, telegraphs, radios, television receivers
and computers-to mediate the relations between
people. In making collective decisions-and the an-
cient Athenian ecclesia was, in some ways, a model
fpr making social decisions during the classical
period-all members of the community should have
an opportunity to acquire in full, the measure of
anyone who addresses the assembly. They should be
in a position to absorb his attitudes, study his expres-
sion, weigh his motives as well as- his ideas in a direct
personal encounter and through full debate, face-
to-face discussion and inquiry.
Our small communities should be economically
balanced and well rounded, partly so that they
can make full use of local raw materials and energy
resources, party also to enlarge the- agricultural and
industrial stimuli to which individuals are exposed.
The member of a community who has a predilection
for engineering, for instance, should 'be encouraged
to employ his .musculature; the "inborn" farmer
should gain a familiarity with* the workings of a
rolling mill. To separate the engineer from the soil,
the thinker from the spade, and the farmer from
the industrial plant may well promote a degree of
vocational over-specialization that would lead to a
dangerous measure to social cotrol by specialists.
What is equally important, professional and voca-
tional specialization would prevent society from
achieving a vital goal: the humanization of nature
by the technician and the naturalization of society
by the biologist.
A relatively self-sufficient community, visibly de-
pendent on its environment for the means of life,
would gain a new respect for the organic inter-rela-
tionships that sustain it. In the long run, the at-
tempt to approximate self-sufficiency would, I think,
prove more efficient than the prevailing system of
a national division of labor. Although there would
doubtless be many duplications of small industrial
facilities from community to community, the famil-
iarity of each group with its local environment and
its rootedness in the area would make for a more
intelligent and more loving use of its environment.
I submit that far from producing provincialism,
relative self-sufficiency would create a new matrix
for individual and communal development-a one-
ness with the surroundings that would vitalize the
community.
Falling within our purview would be an exciting,
often dramatic, variety of communal forms--here,
mcn~rpt i,,ynniita-t-,,oclianti inA,,c4-vigl s aatin'

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