Tribulations of the Civilized

Somebody asked me recently if I had plans for the fall. It took me several moments to realize that she meant springtime, not the collapse of global industrial civlization.

‘Canary’s dead’ is a collection of essays on how most humans live today, and how they were meant to live. The blog explores the various aspects of tribal and civilized existence, social phenomena and their place in the larger picture. It is my pleasure to therewith dismantle the myths which uphold our culture. Personal observations occasionally round off the picture.

Enjoy the fall — and keep your hand baskets ready.

Monthly Quote

How do you respond to your critics who say that back-to-the-trees was neither possible nor desirable? Isn’t a simple life, or primitivism, as they hold, a return to barbarianism?

First of all, I’m not talking about a backward movement, because then I would buy into the civilized rhetoric of progress and ascent. Civilization has not moved the human race forward or upward. It was not an evolutionary logical progress; we have simply stepped out of the large consent of primary peoples who see the Universe as an indivisible living whole, and themselves an integral part of it. So if we choose to apply the word “back,” it would be in the sense of backing out of a dead-end road. Civilization has taught us a lot of things which cannot work; that’s something we might be grateful for – provided we leave enough of our habitat intact to be able to make use of it.

— Jürgen Hornschuh

How to use this blog

This blog is not about standing by hoping, it is about getting involved personally. While I am not expecting that you adopt my view, you may regard me as a guide showing you around, pointing at important places worth being discovered by you. I have stories to tell about those places but, well, like all stories they are subject to interpretation.

Please feel free to comment on any of the essays, even if they are old, and share them with your friends (no matter how old they are ;).

As this is a philosophical blog, I merely ask you to understand its line of argument before adding your thoughts – which I am really looking forward to hear. In honour of your serious aspiration, I promise to reply to any substantial contribution of yours.

In case there is something you’re not quite able to follow, e.g. due to mental leaps of mine, kindly ask for clarification.

If you haven’t read my blog regularly, or even if so, it might be helpful for you to know where I am coming from. Therefore I am referring to the sources that have inspired my essays. Those sources do not necessarily represent my view, of course, but each of them contributed to it one way or another. I found it extremely useful to first try to comprehend them completely, then compare them to my personal experience and other sources, and only then begin to muse on and evaluate them. I invite you to follow the same procedure when picking one of those sources or one of my essays. Please appreciate the hard work, thought processes, and time put into producing them.

You may freely copy articles or parts of them for non-commercial use, as long as you make clear they are not your works, and refer to their original web addresses here on the blog. (Licenced under Creative Commons,  by-nc-sa (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International)

Oh, and, thank you for reading 🙂


Living in Sin

Prologue (Title image: Franz von Stuck – “Die Sünde” [‘Sin,’ 1893]) When in Germany’s 1970s I went through my first post-birth decade, living in sin was still a hot topic. Do you know this phrase? Have you heard it before? My mother would have done it had her preferred partner joined in; his cowardice spared …

State-Approved Comparisons: On the Cult of the Expert (2)

(read part 1, Jesus was no D.Theol.) These are not the 30s Western democracies, from their very beginnings hollow shells masking the rule of plutocratic elitists, are now teetering on the brink of declared tyranny. That‘s not exaclty news. Modernity has been at this point a few times before. It‘s the result of the civilized …