The Conscience of Conservation
The Dedalus Party Manifesto
Do we wish to preserve nature, man, and culture, or do we wish to remake them? If we keep our current technologies and population levels, we will have to exercise much greater control over wild nature and human behavior, even to the point of permanently altering the human condition. If, however, we hope to guard these against industrial development, we must reduce the human population, preserve and restore wildlands, deindustrialize large territories, and preserve and restore natural human behavior, including more traditional forms of human culture.
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We operate from a scientific materialist standpoint. Having a faith tradition is permitted, even encouraged, but theory starts with the natural world.
- “Defense of a Modest Scientific Realism,” Jean Bricmont & Alan Sokal.
- “Is Everything Relative?: A Debate on the Unity of Knowledge,” Wilson Quarterly (Winter 1998).
- “Phylogenetic and Cultural Adaptation,” Human Ethology, Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Biological Vision of Human Nature
Human biology is shaped by selection pressures typical of the Paleolithic era and strongly affects the shape of culture. Research on human biodiversity is encouraged, and biological sex differences are axiomatic, but racism and sexism are not tolerated.
- Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, E. O. Wilson
- Human Ethology, Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt
- The Adapted Mind, Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides, & John Tooby
- The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker
Cultural Evolutionary View of History
Culture should be understood as an outgrowth of human biology. That is, cultural development is primarily shaped by demography, technology, and geography, while ideas and beliefs are mostly a product of these, not the drivers. Any instances of elite dominance should be understood in demographic, evolutionary terms rather than conspiratorial and political ones.
- “What is Cultural Evolution?” The Cultural Evolution Society
- Cultural Materialism, Marvin Harris
- The Evolution of Technology, George Basalla
- Culture and the Evolutionary Process, Peter Richerson & Robert Boyd
- Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution, Gary Cziko
Tolerance for Primitivism
Our political approach is generally communitarian, but the group is defined by its common conviction that the primitive and natural things being lost to the march of civilization have value. Their loss is one of the primary reasons the project of civilization is in question. Thus, most in the group place a high value on nature conservation, tradition, and cultural preservation.
- What is the Sound of One Billboard Falling?This article was originally published in the Berkeley Barb. Ed and I sat in a fire tower above Aztec Peak, a 7,748-foot-high mountain in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. Slowly he stood up, grabbed a half-full carton of sour cream, walked outside the lookout tower, and heaved it far into the forest below. The container rested near Read More
- Remarks, Glen Canyon Dam, Spring Equinox, 1981Edward Abbey’s remarks at “the cracking of Glen Canyon Dam,” the first public action by the radical conservation group Earth First! Greetings. How nice to be back in Page—or Paje, Arizona—shithead capital of Coconino County. We are gathered here today to celebrate three important occasions: the rising of the full moon, the arrival of the Read More
- The Wildernist ArchivesThe Wildernist was a student conservation magazine published from 2015-2016 by a group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The group was originally known as UNC Freedom Club (UNCFC), named after the “ecoterror group” eventually identified as the Unabomber (they later changed their name to avoid controversy!). Magazines authors include David Gessner, Read More
- Earth First!: A Founder’s StoryThis article was first published in 2006 on Lowbagger, a magazine run by another founder of Earth First!, Mike Roselle. Dave Foreman’s old Volkswagen bus wobbled on unbalanced tires to the northeast across the Plains of San Augustine on New Mexico Highway 12. The salsa at the Mexican restaurant in the town of Reserve had Read More
- An Ecological View of the IndianThis article was first published in Earth First!, vol. 7, no. 7. I believe the concept that Indians were the “first ecologists” is more myth than fact, and not the result of a conscious conservation ethic as much as a primitive technology which prevented widespread control of natural forces. Most environmentalists tacitly assume that primitive Read More