Ron Allen answers:
Humanization is a good name for the best society
of human beings, as long as the name does not
intimate or indicate a species imperialism, or a
species expansionism, that does away with every
natural environment, or that gets rid of every
species other than the human. It is important
that we let the natural world be, that we let all
of life be, that we allow all of life's variety
"All government -- indeed, every human benefit and
enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act --
is founded on compromise and barter."
-- Edmund Burke
How would you suggest we 'Let Nature be?'
Use it in a renewable way, rather than in destructive ways.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the
range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally
impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."
-- George Orwell as Syme in "1984"
Ron Allen wrote:
> Humanization is a good name for the best society
> of human beings, as long as the name does not
> intimate or indicate a species imperialism, or a
> species expansionism, that does away with every
> natural environment, or that gets rid of every
> species other than the human. It is important
> that we let the natural world be, that we let
> all of life be, that we allow all of life's
> variety to live.
> How would you suggest we 'Let Nature be?'
Ron Allen answers:
We already do this somewhat when we preserve
certain areas as wilderness sanctuaries.
"I've never known any trouble that an hour's
reading didn't assuage."
-- Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu
> Use it in a renewable way, rather than in
> destructive ways.
Ron Allen answers:
A very well-stated answer.
"We need the tonic of wildness and nature."
-- Henry David Thoreau
Joseph H replies
Great stuff, guys. Keep it going. As a reply to the original question
I'm posting this page from my book The Advent of Humanisation ( see
"Human beings emerged from the evolutionary process with a range of
abilities and a potential not possessed by the other creatures of the
planet. We can express and exploit our unique individuality to a
degree denied to them. We can know our own situation in a way that
they cannot. We can reconstruct a past. We can envisage a future. We
can create and re-create our societies with a deliberateness not
permitted to other creatures. We can exploit nature's energy in a
similar fashion. Furthermore, we may one day know all of nature, or as
much of nature as is necessary to impel us, or inspire us, to
construct a system of values commensurate with our potential and with
the truth of our situation.
Once again we encounter privilege. We also encounter choice. Indeed,
we are hounded by choice. It comes in so many attractive guises. We
may choose to dance. We may choose to make ourselves beautiful. We may
choose to drink the wines of Burgundy. We may choose to work long past
nightfall and collapse in a heap with our money. All of these options
have found favour with many.
Or we may choose to be much more dramatic. Taking our unique
position seriously we may choose to be the custodian of creation -
actually more its observer, since creation has a vigour and a vastness
that dwarfs our efforts at stewardship. We may certainly strive to be
the custodian of life here on earth. It is a role we may easily
choose. We may choose to be the custodians of our own life here on
earth. We may adopt a stance with regard to human existence, one based
not on any assumptions of some pre-existing destiny or purpose but on
an intelligent assessment of our place in nature. We may choose, if we
wish, to take full responsibility for our own existence. At a more
mundane level we may choose to organise ourselves, to organise our
societies, in a manner befitting this exalted conception of our place
on the planet. Equally, we may choose to promote, to nurture, the
individual in a similar manner. We may choose to protect and respect
our own planet. The global society based on these values, and the age
in which such a society flourishes and the ideology that sustains it,
might reasonably be called Humanisation - a term chosen because the
society, and the age, and the values, outlined above might, when
combined, be seen as constituting the ultimate earthbound expression
of the natural product of evolution we call the human being."
Well, yes, we might. And I am basically an optimist, so I am hopeful
that we will.
However, I have to say, as a realist, that we, and particularly the U.S
of A., are not showing many signs at the moment. We are destroying other
species at an amazing rate; we are destroying essential rain-forests
faster; using resources at a rate which means that many may be exhausted
in this century ... and so on.
We like your vision, but would welcome some suggestions about how we get
there. Apart from voting for Kerry.
Unfortunately we aren't allowing nature to just be, in that manner;
the animals aren't free to roam, and the areas become tourist meccas.
My point is that as humans globalize, they tend to need a whole lot of
territory to maintain the 'human' lifestyle associated with the
Western Hemisphere and their recreational activities aren't conducive
to allowing nature just 'to be'. Who is to say that the manner in
which we currently live is the best? Why not exist as our anscestors
did 10,000 years ago? They were PART of the ecology, not stewards of
> However, I have to say, as a realist, that we,
> and particularly the U.S of A., are not showing
> many signs at the moment. We are destroying
> other species at an amazing rate; we are
> destroying essential rain-forests faster; using
> resources at a rate which means that many may be
> exhausted in this century ... and so on.
> We like your vision, but would welcome some
> suggestions about how we get there. Apart from
> voting for Kerry.
Ron Allen answers:
Of course, John Kerry cannot, and will not, stop
the destruction of the rain-forests, especially
since this is being done outside the territory
and jurisdiction of these United States.
"Fear generates poetry."
-- Ron Allen
Well, we can't go back 10,000 years anyway - and I don't think anybody
wants to eliminate 99% of the earth's human population. So let's start
from where we are today....
I don't think - given "where we are today" - that we can allow animals
roam free. The best we can do is to ensure that those animals
currently in the wild are protected and those animals not in the wild
are decently treated. I think we have a long way to go ion both areas.
Humanisation is a vision - which most people (i.e.99.9999% of ther
earth's population)still don't see. It is a vision of what we have
achieved to date, But we hardly even see that. But it is also a vision
of the future - a future enriched by awareness of the human
We have always had beliefs. They have enriched and added meaning -
however unreal on occasion - to our existence. Our secular society
hardly has beliefs today. Individuals and groups certainly have
beliefs which enrich their lives - but these are usually unrelated to
the secular lives we lead. The Advent of Humanisation is an effort to
add meaning. It does not suggest for a second that human beings are
paragons. It is well aware of our protean capacities. It does say that
we have immense abilities and that we are close to realising these
abilities - and that awareness of this fact will improve our
Personally, I don't see myself leading any "great movement". I'm too
private for that. If I have a particular perception I will offer it
around - as I do here - and hope (a) that it is useful and (b) that
people take it up.
In the meantime - as another of our correspondents says - we will
continue to bespoil nature and our resources - and each other. It is
to curb this that I offer what i offer.
"Thus we might conclude that Humanisation, so-called, seems well
within our grasp and yet quite easily eludes us. In fact, what
prevents us from traversing the distance between recognition and
achievement might well be another poverty, this time a poverty of the
imagination. To achieve Humanisation we might well have to imagine
Humanisation. To make that grand leap into such a future might not be
possible with the mindset of the past. This is bootstrap-theory in
another guise. It is to encourage such a process, to engender such a
dialogue, that this pamphlet is written.
But even with wisdom we will struggle. We are a finite creature. We
are vulnerable, susceptible. Failure discourages us. Corruption tempts
us. Also we are immured in our own culture. Most of us have a limited
reach and an even lesser grasp. To survive the challenges of the
immediate future - the failures, the possible catastrophes - we, or
some among us, will need extraordinary strength, overpowering vision.
The great achievements of history have been wrought by men and women
emboldened by such vision. Indeed, only the possession of an
overpowering vision of human achievement and human possibility will
enable these men and women, these leaders of our future, to achieve
the final global flowering of Humanisation."
It's more simple than you care to admit; if it exists, it's
UDP for WebTV
Joseph H replies:
Strong stuff, Joey. I just brought up my breakfast. Thanks for that.
I wouldn't even try to define nature. It's a word - coined by others -
taken to signify the living presence on the globe. That's enough for
what I want to do.
Clearly - even by your examples - our colonisation and exploitation of
the planet is not unnatural. It may be harsh; it may even be very
short-sighted on occasion - but it is not "unnatural".
The examples you give are telling - though I would suggest that the
life that "prefers" a harsh environment is actually the particular
form of life that evolved in that environment.
Certainly past forms of life have come and gone. I would suggest,
however, that WE are different in (at least) one significant way. We
possess an awareness - or a capacity for awareness - that affords us
the opportunity to correct self-destructive tendencies. I certainly
hope we avail of that opportunity.
Thanks for the reply.
Are you saying that a person, call him "man" was previously unspoiled,
before the process of colonising started? Are you saying that we are
"perfect” when we are absolutely human? So, when everything is
"natural" man will be good and happy?
Waiting your reply.
Now you know why I don't care for definitions!
If it exists it's natural???? Does that refer only to living things -
or all things? A stone, for example? And by being so
all-inclusive...what's left to be "unnatural"? Normally the word
natural is used in debates on behaviour: what's right etc. But by
taking such a radical definition you have removed it from such
debates, actually made the word irrelevant to behaviour.
Joseh H replies:
Many people think that's what I'm saying. "Unspolied etc". "Natural
state etc". No such thing. We were never unspoiled - though we may
have been spoiled!
When we emerged from evolution we were just what we were/are: human
beings with a particular intellectual and emotional range. Quite a
finite creature, really, with a finite range of abilities.
We had a capacity for knowledge - but had very little knowledge in
fact. We also had a capacity to surmise, to assume that we knew
something. Equally, we had the astonishing capacity of belief. The
combination of these abilities/traits unavoidably thrust us into
error. Thus, for most - some would say ALL - of our time on this
planet we have been in thrall to error.
Equally, we have a capacity for foresight; and for very rapid
adaptation to changing situations. Living, as we were, very close to
nature our existence was quite perilous. Thus, we moved when we had
to: we moved when any one of a million factors - food-failure,
over-population, disease, climate-change etc - made continued
habitation in a particular area untenable. Thus, we entered our
colonisation process - very dangerous, very fraught etc etc..
I hope I'm not being boring...or sounding like a long-winded prat..but
you asked a question.
This colonisation/error-ridden phase of our existence brought intense
trauma and depleted our capacity to see ourselves in a true light.
I believe that much - if not most - of this process is concluded. I
also believe that much of the layer of error has been rermoved. Most
of us may see ourselves finally. I believe that most of the societies
of the West allow us to "express" our humanness in a way impossible
This is NOT to say that all is - even nearly - well. Also, this is NOT
to say that our lives in the future will be perfect. It is to say that
they will be better - that they are even now better.
But..I believe ..we are in the grip of some shallowness. We don't see
how far we've come. Dissatisfaction and demand attacks our peace of
mind. Also, many of us have been left behind. Poverty and oppression
is still endemic,
I don't see how we can solve these problems with our current
ahistorical frame of mind.
That's why i offer the Humanisation web-site as a start to a radical
new seeing of our existence. I hope that such a seeing will - if taken
up by enough people - bring about an advance from our current stalled
I hope I've answered your questions.
Then you understand. Does the word 'natural' have to be
defined by human behavior? Do stones exist in nature? Then
they are natural.
Joseph H replies:
So we may remove the word "unnatural" from the lexicon?
Why? Because a word doesn't mean what you want it to; we
have to do away with it? Who made you arbiter of the English
I just found the tenor, and style, of your arguments to be
> I am no arbiter of anything.
Then why do you want to change the meaning of "natural" to
fit what you want it to?
> But if "natural" is to mean "everything that exists" -
> well, then, what's left to be unnatural?
Now you're catching on.