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Civilizational Pathology: Transcending Imperial Borders
Unformatted Document Text:  Civilizational Pathology 9 however, where such balance still exists (and it is looking more and more like the idea of balance is, like equality, a notion that only appears in formal and not material domains, as we shall consider below). Much of the earth has been messed up Homo sapiens who have knowingly and unknowingly exterminated some species largely by ignorance or by re-coding that species as weed or pest, rather than plant or animal, and purposely (not “naturally”) selected them for extermination or relocation. The ecosystem becomes increasingly unbalanced, but still natural (436). This is to say that “natural selection,” in the mode of Darwin, would be purposeless in the sense that it is not directed by will, but by so-called natural forces. The willful or purposeful tampering with plant and animal life by humans (who are just another animal) would ultimately, however, be natural in the terms widest sense, because humans, and thus their actions, are ultimately a part of the world. That said, these animals and plants live together in a symbiotic combination of competition and mutual dependency, and that combination is important to consider. Kill off the predators and the sick and weak proliferate; kill off the weeds and the pesticides you use contaminates the water supply, killing the fish and weakening those who feed, in turn, off the fish. Kill off one “pest,” e.g., spiders, and another, e.g., flies, proliferate. In the 1960’s, when Bateson was writing about the sociological significance of systems theory the mathematics of the day were largely linear in their orientation. Indeed, one of the important contributions of system theory

Authors: Williams, Kevin.
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Civilizational Pathology
9
however, where such balance still exists (and it is looking more and more like the
idea of balance is, like equality, a notion that only appears in formal and not
material domains, as we shall consider below). Much of the earth has been
messed up Homo sapiens who have knowingly and unknowingly exterminated
some species largely by ignorance or by re-coding that species as weed or pest,
rather than plant or animal, and purposely (not “naturally”) selected them for
extermination or relocation. The ecosystem becomes increasingly unbalanced,
but still natural (436). This is to say that “natural selection,” in the mode of
Darwin, would be purposeless in the sense that it is not directed by will, but by
so-called natural forces. The willful or purposeful tampering with plant and
animal life by humans (who are just another animal) would ultimately, however,
be natural in the terms widest sense, because humans, and thus their actions, are
ultimately a part of the world.
That said, these animals and plants live together in a symbiotic
combination of competition and mutual dependency, and that combination is
important to consider. Kill off the predators and the sick and weak proliferate;
kill off the weeds and the pesticides you use contaminates the water supply,
killing the fish and weakening those who feed, in turn, off the fish. Kill off one
“pest,” e.g., spiders, and another, e.g., flies, proliferate.
In the 1960’s, when Bateson was writing about the sociological
significance of systems theory the mathematics of the day were largely linear in
their orientation. Indeed, one of the important contributions of system theory


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