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My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

It is with no small amount of conceit that I must admit that there have been few books which I've read which actually enlightened me to concepts and ideas which I wasn't able to formulate on my own...

'My Ishmael' by Daniel QuinnThis is not to say I read low IQ books, quite the opposite in fact. I could count on one hand the books that have shown me a view of reality that actually jives with my sensorial intake; Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hitchcock, The First Sex by Elizabeth Gould, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal by Desmond Morris and The Biggest Secret by David Icke.

Add to that now My Ishmael. Written as an account of the conversations between a 12 year girl searching for meaning in life and a telepathic Gorilla named Ishmael who has an ad placed in a newspaper seeking a student to help save the world, the big idea of this book is it's examination of our Mother Culture; the one that locks food up.

Easy to read and written in a style that is clear and concise, the basis of this story is how the human species took a turn towards extinction with the Agricultural Revolution. The premise is this; long ago, humanity found it's food where it grew, and liking certain fruits, threw the seeds to the ground so they could be found next time they passed by.

Nobody had to have a job, rents, taxes, and all the hassle that makes modern day life unbearable. Well, after a certain amount of time, a social development occurred, whereas one group of people paid some thugs to lock up the food, and if you wanted to eat, you had to work, making things to trade for food.

This allowed the human population to explode, replacing each person who died with not one (as before) but with many more. As the population grew, this society of Takers (taking what they wanted) eventually displaced the society of Leavers (tribal peoples who leave to nature the fulfilment of their needs). Of course the Takers can't have people opting out of their system, so they go in and kill, assimilate or annihilate the tribal groupings which don't practice commercial agriculture.

Recently that meant cults like The Branch Davidians were destroyed (such was the threat they posed) and Jim Jones and his followers chose suicide rather than return to the Taker society, and the 60's Tune in Turn on and Drop out movement, politically destroyed by the Right.

Add the Aboriginals of Australia & Africa and the Native Americans, and you can see how overpopulation combined with mono- culture farming was the step humanity took towards becoming terminal predators... and our evolutionary dead end.

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