Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"It's a jungle out there". 03.03.15

I live over a thousand miles away from my family. I came to this country alone. When I first bought this house, my nearest friend lived over 100 miles away. I am a very small person and, although strong for my size, I am still weaker than the average adult. I currently live alone. I am unarmed and, in fact, legally prevented from arming myself for self-defence. Yet I can hold property and have a reasonable expectation that nobody will try to take it away from me. And nobody seems to understand how amazing this is.

This hasn't got anything to do with a woman's right to own property, btw. I'm talking about a weaker-than-average and unsupported person's ability to hold property she (or he) can't defend.

Realistically, I can't defend my own property for long; I can give it a bloody good try, obviously, but the fact is that most adult humans could prevail against me. I have no clan to defend it with or for me, or to avenge me. I have no hirelings to guard it. And this is perfectly normal here-- so normal that we have forgotten how historically and geographically extraordinary this is. I would have struggled to do it 1000 years ago; though possible in theory, the country not being lawless, it would have been difficult in practice. I would probably still struggle to do it 1000 miles away. But here, it's so normal we don't even notice it anymore.

It's so normal that we actually consider it an aberration when it doesn't work. We actually consider it abominable and repugnant when the strong predate on the weak. We have made it so immoral that we regard it as abnormal, as if if hadn't been the natural order of things throughout much of human history, as if it wasn't the natural order of things in the animal kingdom, as if that wasn't precisely how predation works.

Mind, I'm not advocating a return to that particular aspect of nature. I just find it extraordinary that, having achieved this degree of entrenched morality, I still routinely hear people complaining about how violent and dangerous our world is, how "it's a jungle out there".

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