Riches And The Garden Of Eden
Starting with the disclaimer that this is a purely secular set of observations having nothing to do with religion, I would like to bypass all the theological controversy and bigoted opinions of those who should know better with the assertion that something actually ‘did go wrong’ within the human psyche, and this schism, which undeniably destroyed a pre-existing harmonious and joyous relationship with nature, happened precisely with the concurrence of agriculture.
And it is agriculture I would like to focus the blame on, for if money is the root of all evil, then agriculture is the root of all money. It is true, is it not, that agriculture is the harbinger of civilization? Therefore, whatever civilization has bequeathed to us ultimately can be found in the implementation of agriculture. That is to say that literally- language, the mastery of fire, tool making, just to name a few technologies- have only a small role in the development and rise of civilization. On the other hand, civilization would be impossible without agriculture. (By the way, ‘civilization’ by its root roughly just means ‘urbanization’.)
When heard, the word civilization is generally received with a positive connotation, but in fact civilization is also directly responsible for the greatest man-made horrors upon this earth that we have ever seen. It is responsible for mega wars, genocide, and perhaps most tragically, thousands of years of mass slavery.
Another facet that one might explore about agriculture is that while it tends to feed masses of humans with a monotonous diet of food of dubious nutritious value, at the same time it destroys nature (or the garden if one prefers). But most importantly the advent of agriculture soon resulted in societies where 80 to 90 percent of the population became slaves, 10 percent warriors, a tiny percent scholars and architects, and the tiniest fraction the owners and rulers. That it is a fact of history but my question is: have things really changed?