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until they are unable to persist at all.  

Each failure creates the need for a shiny new theory to explain why next time, everything will be different.  "Now that Vietnam is behind us . . . "  

(Yes, I am old enough to remember that.)  

Many of us lefties obsess over the question:  Why can't they learn from their mistakes?  What you seem to be suggesting is that the mistakes are built into the very concept of who they are in the world, and therefore cannot be changed because they cannot ALLOW themselves to learn.  Your suggestion has merit in that it describes reality--specifically, the persistence of failure.  

But it leads to the unsettling conclusion that what we know of as civilization, cannot be saved at all.  

Now, for geological reasons, we know this is true, except that the promise has always been held out that if we can accept reality, and respond to its demands, we can adapt and make needed changes.  This is called, the "soft landing," and represents the transformation of society rather than its total destruction.  

In the thirty years since the geological facts have been made clear, the opportunities for a soft landing have been passed by.  Suppose, as you seem to suggest, the reasons for this are social, built into the underlying structure of our civilization, rather than just a superficial trait ameliorable to change?  

The biological study of the varied survival strategies of different species, and the course of succession those strategies imply, then becomes very interesting.  Such study might suggest courses of action.  

One further point:  The rhizomes you allude to must somehow avoid being themselves consumed by the civilization as it collapses, and must somehow keep the resources that THEY depend on from being noticed and expropriated.  

I hope you write more on this.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Apr 11th, 2007 at 04:15:12 PM EST

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