A Bargain with the Archdruid

My anomalous position as a writer and speaker on the future of industrial society who holds down a day job as an archdruid has its share of drawbacks, no question, but it also has significant advantages. One of the most important of those is that I don’t have to worry about maintaining a reputation as a serious public figure. That may not sound like an advantage, but believe me, it is one.

Cultural Diversity

Modern societies like cultural diversity, preferably when it is far away, reasonably photogenic and does not inconvenience them politically. They also like to marginalize minority cultures and transform them either into folkloric caricatures or into assimilated ghosts of their former selves. During the last two centuries, modern civilization has absorbed most of Earth’s cultural diversity and is currently quite busy assimilating or destroying the rest while multiplying the subcultures in its midst. It is a typical case of replacing geographical cultural diversity by internal heterogeneity. It had to be expected from societies which had, until recently, accumulated an embarrassing surplus of cheap energy, but that is still a bad idea, and one which will become really problematic as our energetic surplus dries up.

The Beginning of the World

Last Friday was, as I’m sure most of my readers noticed, an ordinary day. Here in the north central Appalachians, it was chilly but not unseasonably so, with high gray clouds overhead and a lively wind setting the dead leaves aswirl; wrens and sparrows hopped here and there in my garden, poking among the recently turned soil of the beds. No cataclysmic earth changes, alien landings, returning messiahs, or vast leaps of consciousness disturbed their foraging. They neither knew nor cared that one of the great apocalyptic delusions of modern times was reaching its inevitable end around them.