Our proper place

The poetry of care and loss

Likely no culture has been so ignorant and contemptuous of place as is contemporary industrialized society. We may not even qualify as a culture, since that word generally connotes a form of social organization that connects people and places through time. By that criterion, industrialized society fails miserably. Its practices of blowing away mountains to extract coal or razing forests on a continental scale to grow animal feed reveal its essential characteristics: disregard for time and contemptuousness of place. Indeed, the global economy depends fundamentally on ignoring the particular character of places and violating their physical limits.

 

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