Social change

Tom Condit (tomcondit@IGC.APC.ORG)
Thu, 5 Jun 1997 15:04:12 -0700 (PDT)

Karl Slinkard writes:

"The big sixties' conception was that society could be rebuilt,
probably within a generation. Whether we were talking of culture or
politics, that was the one major underlying assumption. Does anyone
really believe that culture or political systems are that malleable

What makes you think they aren't? The Plains Indians went from being farmers
who hunted bison during the migration season to a fullblown horse nomad
culture in two generations. When the Sioux and Cheyenne were in their
decline in the 1880s, there were still a few men and women living who could
remember seeing the first horses. Similarly, the famous "age-old" Lapp
reindeer culture sprang into existence in the 18th century when the North
American fur companies wiped out the Scandinavian trade on which they had
previously subsisted.

In any case, as the degradation of humanity and the earth proceeds at
breakneck pace in our "new global economy," the question isn't whether
culture or political systems are malleable, it's whether we'll succeed
in reshaping them before the whole ecosystem collapses under the
weight of capital.

Tom Condit