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Social Gamekeepers to Gardeners and Beyond

Image by Artist Paul Gilling .................

Perhaps take a coffee and a moment to consider this notion on humanity’s role in natural things. Years ago, let's say, the pre-modern era, humanity and its relationship with the world appeared similar to that of a Gamekeeper, nowadays though, it is a gardener's relationship that would best serve as a metaphor for the modern worldview and practice.

In other words, The main task of the Gamekeeper is to defend the land assigned to his/her wardenship against all human interference, to defend and preserve, so to speak, its natural balance, that incarnation of natures infinite wisdom. The gamekeeper’s services rest on the belief that things are at their best when they are not tinkered with. That the world was a divine chain of being in which every creature had its rightful and useful place.

Not so the Gardner; her/she assumes that there would be no order in the world at all (or at least in the small part of that world entrusted to their wardenship) were it not for their constant attention and effort. The Gardner knows better what kinds of plants should, and what should not grow in the plot under their care. Gardeners work out the desirable arrangements in their head and then sees to it that this image is engraved on the plot. They force their preconceived design on the plot by encouraging the growth of the right types of plants ( mostly the plants they have sown or planted ) Uprooting and destroying all other plants, now renamed weeds, whose uninvited and unwanted presence, unwanted because uninvited, can’t be squared with the overall harmony of the design.

Perhaps, our preoccupation with ‘gardening’ or utopia-making has expanded to all aspects of existence, from a biological context to a physical one, from the natural to the built environment or from a lived to a cultural condition….

Thank you Bauman


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