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Down with the Cities! By Tadashi Nakashima Characters: 41449

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07

"Down with the cities!" means that the people of the cities will survive, and "Prosperity for the cities!" means that the people of the cities will perish.

If We Do Not Halt Urbanization, There Is No Future for Humanity or the Earth

There is no problem with turning the entire planet into country, but we must not turn it all into cities. If the entire planet is country then, even though we cannot hope for an extravagant and convenient life, the survival of humanity (as well as the lives of all other living things) is completely assured. However, if the entire planet is urbanized, then we cannot hope for our own survival or that of any other living thing. This is because it is impossible for the city to survive even for a day unless it depends upon the country.

Anyone should be able to understand this much. Unless one has gone completely bananas, it should be impossible to believe that the city can keep itself alive. Yet in spite of this fact, every day sees the loss of the country, and the expansion of the cities. Just look at the donut phenomenon (the building of more apartment complexes) occurring around the big cities. Just look at the plastering of everything with concrete and the leisure facilities along train lines and roads. Just look at how the polluting industries are evacuating to the country. Just look at the rise in tourism all over the country (tourist facilities represent urbanization: cable cars, scenic roads, parking lots, rest facilities, hotels, stores). And look also at the centers of towns and villages that are now halfway between the city and the country.

The cities continue their amoebae-like expansion. This limitless prosperity of the cities means the decline and fall of the country, which is the city's life line, and that means the strangling of the city's prosperity, and the end of life for the city.

If at this time people do not find the courage to curb urbanization and begin the return of the city to the country, we will have eternal regrets. Time has all but run out, and it may already be too late. Still, we must do what can be done to exercise the little remaining hope for humankind and the Earth.

We must get rid of the cities.

In Saving the City We Will Lose Everything

No matter what counterargument, no matter what reason there could be, we cannot expect to save ourselves while preserving the city. If we exterminate ourselves we will lose everything. [29] What could be more important to us than our own survival?

Freedom? Will we still have to defend it even after we are gone?

Progress? Must we continue with it even if it means self-destruction?

Scholarship? Must we still pursue it even if it drives us to catastrophe?

Culture? Must we maintain it even if it brings about a crisis?

All these great and grand things will be worth nothing after we are gone. It is the same for the prosperity of the nation-state, the elevation of national prestige, the flourishing of a people, and for convenience, extravagance, and ease, as well as traditions and customs. Even while humanity is still around they are not worth a pig's tail (this is because they come about by oppressing and exploiting the country, and by destroying and contaminating the environment, or they are the means whereby such things are accomplished). How can there be a reason for preserving such things when it means our own ruin?


A Great Sage Who Taught Us to Eradicate the Cities

"Scholarship and learning steal the way of tilling and gain the respect of the people by means of idleness and gluttony; since they are created by means of private law they are plots to steal the Way. Therefore the more one engages in learning, the more one glorifies the stealing of the Way. Learning is that which therefore conceals this theft… Learning is scheming words meant to deceive the people and eat gluttonously, and is a great fault. Therefore the idleness and gluttony of the sages and Buddhas is a stinking and filthy evil. Learning is a means of hiding this stench and filth." (This quote and the following are taken from The Struggle of Ando Shoeki by Terao Goro.) Ando Shoeki lived during the Genroku Period (1703-1762), and was a doctor in northern Honshu. A great pioneer sage who took a path taken by no one before him, he is the only revolutionary thinker which Japan can boast of to the world. [30]

Learning is not the Way of Heaven, but a means of achieving idleness and gluttony which human beings created with private law - this is the truth which Shoeki expounded. We must not, I should think, preserve the cities for the sake of that which "conceals theft," thereby driving humanity to catastrophe.

"The sages of all the ages, the Buddhas, the bodhisattvas, the arhat, Zhuangzi, Laozi, physicians, those who created the laws of the gods, all scholars, ascetic practitioners, priests and monks - they are all the idle and gluttonous, the dregs of society who steal the Way. Therefore all laws, the preaching of the Dharma, and storytelling are all ways of justifying theft, and nothing more. Their books, which number in the millions, all record justifications for theft; the more wise their aphorisms, and the more clever their turn of phrase, the more they justify theft, and the more we must deplore them… They steal the Way, establish their private laws, and live lives of idleness and gluttony while lecturing on their various theories… They deceive the people with their many theories in order to eat gluttonously… Note well what they are doing…! We should behead them."

And this is the reason why it has always been the object of education to teach the techniques of idleness and gluttony. At present, moreover, education is aiming for more than that. It is no overstatement to say that, either directly or indirectly, all education exists to bring upon us the catastrophic ruin in which progress ends. If we intend to keep this from happening, we must not preserve the cities.

"The way of agriculture… is the way found naturally in all people; so we naturally till the soil, and naturally weave clothes, that is, we produce our own food, and we weave our own clothes; this comes before all other teachings."

You in the cities! We do not need all your extra baggage. The

way of direct cultivation [31] depends only upon the blessings of

Nature; it is the Way of Heaven in which we live by flowing with


"When we carry on tilling and weaving by being in accordance with the four seasons, with Nature, and with the advance and retreat in the motions of the essences, we are living with the Way of Heaven, and there will be, therefore, no irregularities in the agricultural activities of human beings."

Nature is a cycle, and this cycle is eternity; in this repetition there is no progress. Shoeki is saying that there must be no progress or change in the agriculture which is carried on in accordance with the flow of Nature (the cycle). Shoeki saw from the beginning that progress in agriculture spurs on the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, that is, the city, thereby abetting the city's evils, which would in the end wipe out humanity. It is idiocy to stubbornly defend that which invites ruin, and that which invites ruin is the progress of the city.

Business and Money are the Prime Evils

"Merchants do not till the soil; business in its profit-seeking is the root of all evil.

"Merchants are gangsters who buy and sell… They come up with schemes for increasing their profits, they curry favor with rulers, deceive the scholars, farmers, and artisans, and compete with each other in their profit-seeking… They are the men of monstrous profits and harmful greed. They wish to make their way through the world without tiring themselves with labor; they curry favor with those both above and below themselves with artifice, a servile countenance, flattery, and lies; they deceive their own fathers, sons, and brothers… Immoral in the extreme, even in their dreams they do not know of the natural way of human beings.

"Money is the great originator of all desire and all evil. Since the appearance of money we have lived in a world of darkness, confused desires, and rampant evils."

Is it not exactly the same in the present day? Money and

Business - they have always been the symbols of the city.

"And the master artisans, the makers of vessels, the weavers - the sage uses them to build towers, fancy houses, and beautiful chambers, or for military purposes. And the artisans curry favor with those of all classes by means of artful language; seduced by the lust for more commissions, they hope for the occurrence of disasters."

In the present age we see parallels in the manufacture of such needless, and often harmful, things like trinkets and gewgaws, cars, cameras, televisions, jets, and computers, which only waste resources and spew forth pollution, and in the fact that the manufacturers of weapons and explosives hope that there will be a war, that pharmaceutical companies hope there will be lots of sick people, that manufacturers of agricultural chemicals hope there will be more rice weevils, and that construction companies hope there will be more natural disasters.

"Songs, dancing, chanting, teas ceremonies, go, backgammon, gambling, drinking and carousing, the koto, the biwa, the samisen, all arts, drama, plays… are the evil accomplices of confusion and disorder; they are all worthless amusements of the idle and gluttonous, and the businesses of pleasure; they are the frivolity which destroys oneself and one's family."

Shoeki is saying that games and the arts are merely means for achieving idleness and gluttony. Festivals! Amusement! Leisure! say our modern tertiary industries (the city), investing great amounts of resources, time, and money in their wild abandon to idiotic entertainment and events. Shoeki's statement was a severe criticism of just such things.

The Idle and Gluttonous Dominators "Should Simply be Put to


It is with this that Shoeki then concentrates his stinging attack upon those in command of the secondary and tertiary industries (the city, i.e., an assembly of the idle), their thieves' bosses, the sages and clergymen (dominators), who are the very incarnation of plunder.

"Those who eat gluttonously without tilling the soil are the great criminals who steal the True Way of Heaven and Earth… Though they be sages and men of the cloth, scholars, or great wise men, they are still robbers.

"Sage is another name for criminal.

"The Confucian Gentlemen are the leaders of the highway robbers.

"Sage Emperor is another name for robber.

"Know ye that those of later ages will call them horse manure, but they will not call them the scholars and the clergy. This is because horse manure has more value." ("Scholars and the clergy" here refers to the dominators and their ilk - all harm and no good.)

It would not do to get rid of these worthless and harmful robbers and criminals (the leaders of the idle and gluttonous) with such half-baked methods as trying to educate them. It is impossible to change these inveterate robbers by talking with them, by persuading them, or by educating them. Shoeki here makes a timeless statement:

"They should simply be put to death" - there is nothing to do but to overthrow them. This is nothing other than a call to an heroic, unparalleled revolution.

Of Ando Shoeki Terao Goro says, "Shoeki is worthy of being called the Marx of the Genroku Period," but I think that Shoeki's theory is backed by thorough revolutionary thought and a penetrating view of society that far exceeds that of Marx, and is more highly developed. Shoeki was a more radical revolutionary thinker.

* * *

Whereas Marx sought the source of class confrontation in the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, Ando Shoeki found it in those who practice direct cultivation on the one hand, and the idle and gluttonous on the other.

The factory workers, distributors, and buyers and sellers who were, to Marx, "our camp," were not so to Shoeki, who thought that they too belonged to the idle and gluttonous classes, and that if we do not dismantle such a system, we will not be able to realize a true "communistic society" (Natural World).

The Overthrow of the Urbanizing Mechanism Is Essential to a True


Verily it was the dominators (feudal lords) and farm operators who were the medium of plunder by which were fed the huge secondary and tertiary industrial population - the city - which loomed behind them. (The scholars, clergy, and officials were subjectively the chief instigators of plunder, but objectively they were merely the medium of plunder.) Shoeki insisted that, before anything else, we must close the portal, we must block the doorway of plunder.

These ideas are quite different from the theories of Marx, who considered the medium of plunder (the bourgeoisie) to be the ultimate enemy while believing that the great hordes of the idle and gluttonous slithering in the shadow of the bourgeoisie were the allies of the revolution. Shoeki was truly the first to insist upon the eradication of the cities.

In Marxist revolution theory, there is a surprising - and actually quite fatal - error in that it does not call for the dismantling of the city, that is, the liquidation of the idle and gluttonous. Without the overthrow of the urbanizing mechanism in human society - a mechanism which cannot but engender the formation of the idle and gluttonous hordes - we cannot achieve true revolution.

So just take a look, please, at where the spreading world socialist revolution is leading (even if it is but a precursor of the communist revolution): power, oppression, progress, expansion, modernization, urbanization, industrialization, militarization, destruction, contamination, prodigality, and corruption.

A Natural World in which All Till the Soil Directly, and There

Are No Groups of Idlers

The "natural world" that Shoeki imagined had no exploitation or oppression whatsoever; its aim was a self-governing commune with common ownership, labor by all, and equality. It was a primitive communist society which could not be realized without, first of all, the overthrow of the bloodsucking ruling class, and then that of the non-tilling idlers (those who contaminate and destroy). It was a society of contraction, regression, austerity, and one in which all practiced direct cultivation.

If one leaves the great hordes of the idle, plundering, and gluttonous just as they are, and then tries to achieve the transition to communistic society (of course, this assumes the abolition of capitalist society), can we really expect the establishment of a utopia in which there are neither the exploiters nor the exploited?

Sorry to say, agriculture has always had a relationship of confrontation with business and the manufacturing industries, as well as with the tertiary industries. The famous Meiji-era Marxist, Dr. Kawakami Hajime, lamented, saying, "If agriculture declines, how can business and industry prosper?" But in his book Respect for Japanese Agriculture he wrote, "The development of a healthy national economy depends upon the balanced prosperity of agriculture, industry, and business." Ever true to Marxism, he did not at all notice the antagonism between agriculture on the one hand, and industry and business on the other.

And so the modern socialist revolution, which does not include the dismantling of the urbanization mechanism, is not in the least what could be called a revolution, for it is merely a system in which the corrupt bosses plunder the produce of the regime in place of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, and this holds even if they are able to make the transition to the communist revolution, but have not dismantled the cities. In other words, we end up with a situation in which state power, in place of the bourgeoisie, carries out oppression and exploitation. This is a mere passing of power from one hand to another (I will disregard here the relative merits and demerits of the various regimes), so that there is no real difference between the old regime and any new one brought to power by an election victory. Perhaps this is the reason that both the Socialist Party and the Communist Party switched their tactics to those of emphasis on election campaigns.

Military Power, Religion, and Money as Instruments of Domination

From long ago, force of arms and religion have been used as the means of domination. In a state governed by laws, it looks as though laws take the place of these, but behind the laws is the force of arms (the military and the police), and out in plain view is money, about which I shall have more to say later. And the backbone of laws is religion, which includes morals, ethics, tradition, and customs.

There is no need to say much about military power. Control and oppression by military force, a conventional technique, is very common, with just a few examples being the ancient attempts to subjugate the Korean peninsula, the struggles between the Taira and Minamoto, the Warring States, the feudalist military government, Manchuria, the China Incident, and so on without limit. In addition, as everyone knows, in between these big wars and incidents the dominators were constantly making use of military force to gain power for themselves. And the present military, though they call themselves the Self Defense Forces, will, when the time comes, point their guns in this direction.

I will have to say a little about religion. I speak here not only of Buddhism, Shinto, Christianity, and the new religions, but also of all blind faith and superstitions. There is no telling how, from ancient times, the blind faith of loyalty (originally Confucianism) has been an advantage to the dominators, and a disadvantage to the dominated. Good examples of this are the elimination of those in the way by harakiri, and the honoring of the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine. The dominators have always deceived us with superstitions which say that if we are not perfectly loyal, we will be punished. And now the blind faith in the omnipotence of science [32] is making possible the augmentation of the city's functions, thereby inviting the growth of the plundering classes.

The traditional religions teach us not to become attached to material things, and as proof to that they tell us to make offerings. Show the extent of your belief, they say, with a widow's mite. And in this way, with each small drop adding to their ocean of wealth, they have built not only their head temples and headquarters, but boast of their branch temples, missions, and other splendorous buildings, ostentatiously display their decorations, feed their priests and officials, and scale the heights of prosperity with only contemptuous regard for the poverty of the people. And very important here is the fact that the dominators, in the shadow of religion, have used these religious teachings as tools for the placation of the people, and through exchange have offered the riches concentrated in the shrines and temples as the capital resource for domination. This is without a doubt the reason that the central government has, from the Tomb Period through the Nara and Heian Periods, helped the religions prosper.

If We Banish Money, the Cities Will Perish

In addition to the force of arms and religion, money has been an instrument of domination and exploitation.

Money: It would be hard to find anything else that is so convenient, so easily used, so powerful an instrument of domination. The arrogant belief that, as long as one has money, one can do anything, is not mere arrogance; money is in actuality the mechanism by which the functions and activities of the city are supported, and the means by which people so freely manipulate the city's functions in order to bring about prosperity. The reason burglars and thieves (in this case I am not referring to the dominators) always take money is because they too, as long as they have money, can get anything they want, be it goods or services. Big shot politicos get sweaty palms at the thought of fat bribes because as long as they have money they can feed great numbers of hangers-on and wield great power.

Simple logic, then (and here we at last come to the stage where we get rid of the cities), dictates that all we have to do to get rid of the cities is banish money.

This is not idle speculation, for the Cambodian regime of Pol Pot actually proved it could be done (forgive me for harping on this one example, but no other government h

as had the guts to do the same thing).

Proving no exception to the rule, the growing urbanization phenomenon in the developing countries has brought about unfavorable trade imbalances and the devastation of the countryside, as well as the importation of food, which engenders even more losses of foreign currency. No matter how high the government raises its voice and orders the citizens to till the fields, once the people have had a taste of idleness and gluttony they squat in the city and refuse to budge. The Pol Pot regime, which had come to the end of its rope, prohibited the use of money and made everyone barter. So the citizens, who could no longer get food with money, went from one farming village to another in search of food, and the capital of Pnom Penh immediately became a ghost town. This was a great experiment which proved that, without dropping a single bomb, and by merely banishing money, the glory of the city can be wiped out in the space of a day.

Criticism of the Productivity Remarks by Sony's Honorary Chairman

Ibuka Masaru, the honorary chairman of Sony, said, "There is a 1,500-fold difference in productivity between agriculture and industry." (A statement made during a committee meeting on the issue of internationalization in agriculture, and included in the book Food, published by the Asahi Shimbun.) He also said, "Rather than having the farmers produce crops, it would be better to hand them money and let them be idle." And, "All agriculture should be transferred to Southeast Asia." [33] He even declared that "hanging on to an industry which has lost its competitiveness is none other than a big loss to the country."

A difference of 1,500 times - this means that agriculture has but 1/1,500th the productive capacity of industry, and is therefore a great loss to the country. What a jump in logic that is. It is natural that there is a difference in the productivity of industry, which night and day produces things in time intervals of minutes and seconds, and agriculture, which harvests farm products only once or twice a year. So if we proceed along the same logical lines, it means that we must destroy all farmland in the world and build upon it efficient factories.

So, Mr. Chairman, let us assume that the cities of Japan end as Phnom Penh did (ultimately it will surely happen when the food runs out). If you try to exchange 1,500 Sony transistor radios for one bag of rice, do you think the farmers will listen? Even if a farmer received 1,500 essentially worthless transistor radios, he would not even have a place to put them.

Mr. Chairman. If industry has 1,500 times the productive capacity of agriculture, then does it not make sense to say that agricultural products should have 1,500 times the value of industrial products? This is the reason that, if we were to barter, you would not even be able to get one bag of rice for 1,500 Sony products. This is a good example of how the interposition of money has evilly exploited farm produce.

There Are no Mice with the Requisite Bravery

We have seen that if we banish money, industry will perish, commerce will languish, the services will tread water, and the cities will die, but is there a mouse with the bravery to put a bell around the cat's neck? Outside of Pol Pot, there is probably not a mouse in the whole world with the bravery to try it.

As long as "the government" does not find the resolve to banish money, it will not be possible, but if we get rid of money, the first to be put out on a limb is none other than "the government" itself. Is it possible that any government in the world could find the guts to make the rope for its own hanging?

Money: The means by which domination and exploitation can be most easily and effectively achieved. It is inconceivable that people would abandon it, at least voluntarily. (Of course, if the situation grows objectively worse on a global scale, money will perforce change into worthless little pieces of paper and metal.)

Is Stopping the Food Supply Possible?

The reason that the city would perish immediately with the banishment of money is that the city would be unable to purchase food. (With the banishment of money the movements of raw materials, wastes, and merchandise will slow, and the functioning of the city will become paralyzed, but the city will not perish immediately.) But if we carry our thinking one step further, we see that, even if we do not get rid of money, we can get rid of the cities by merely shutting off the food supply.

There is no doubt that, if shipments of food stopped right now, the mountains of food in the grocery stores would not even last two days. No matter how badly the residents of the cities want to stay there, no matter how well they hunker down, no matter how many new and wonderful machines they make, no matter how rare the arts they display, no matter how far they pursue abstruse learning, they cannot do a thing on an empty belly, so they will all abandon the cities, crying, and go to the country in search of food. Thus the cities will become ghost towns.

Cutting off the supply of food is, at the distribution stage, known as shipping refusal. If the farming cooperatives would find the bravery to do this, cutting off the food supply would not be impossible. But sad to say, the co-op is on the side of the city; it is the city itself. Even if the heavens and the earth reversed themselves, it is doubtful that the co-op would ever stand with the farmers. The co-op makes it look as though it is the ally of the farmers, but this is a mere gesture. Anyone will tell you that, if there were to be a rice shortage, the co-op, which is the wicked agent for the city's plundering, would never let the city starve, even if it had to scratch together every last grain of the farmers' rice stocks.

So much for the co-op. There is no need to discuss the traders and the wholesalers. Shipping refusal would, ultimately, end in total failure.

The Mammonistic Farmers Cannot Become Revolutionaries

Would it be possible, then, for the farmers to refuse to sell? This would not be impossible if the farmers would not fear repression, if they would steadfastly refuse to supply the city with food even if the military came with their guns, and there was a little bloodshed. The city can live a bit longer by importing food (the president of Sony can take charge when the time comes), but that cannot be helped. How long the city can keep itself alive depends upon the skill of the president.

The real problem, as I see it, is that among the farmers there are quite a few mammonists who have for some time been nursed along by the money economic system. There are without a doubt great numbers of traitors. If there are many farmers who, taking advantage of a food shortage, sell food for high prices in secret deals, any efforts to stop the sale of food to the city are bound to end in failure. The "farmer power" of those farmers who gird their loins and go into Tokyo to demonstrate is actually greed power. It is their greed which gives the city a place into which it can dig its claws. The city then rips off great amounts of food for a mere pittance (or for loans).

Ah, the pitiful farmers! This greedy egotism is the (historically and socially inevitable) pathetic mentality that has been deeply implanted in the farmers who for generations have suffered from the poverty brought about by cruel plundering. Was this the reason Marx chose the city laborers as the soldiers in his revolution instead of the farmers?

* * *

To say "Refuse to sell food!" or "Down with the cities!" seems extremely cruel and subversive, but it is nothing compared to the unmitigated robbery and tyranny that the city has committed during the last five thousand years.

It Is the Plundering and Destructive Idlers Who Are the

Subversive Elements

When we say "Down with the cities!" we do not at all mean that we should kill all the city dwellers. We are merely saying, "Give up your extravagance." We are saying, "Stop your insatiable plundering." We are saying, "Dismantle that mechanism of plunder." We are saying, "Let us create a society of austerity in which all practice direct cultivation." [34]

Why is it cruel and seditious to say "Give up being a robber"? Why is it wrong to say "Stop driving others into poverty so that you can, by their sacrifices, live an extravagant life"?

Long ago the farmers, no longer able to bear the burden of harsh exploitation, sent representatives to the feudal lords to plead for reductions in the amount of rice they had to send as tribute. The reply was, "You insolents! Do you not fear your master? Such effrontery cannot be forgiven!" And they were decapitated. This is outrageous. The insolents were the feudal lords (idlers) who, in order to continue their own extravagance and gluttony, cruelly robbed the farmers. And their spirit of idleness comes all the way down to our modern city. Even now if we were to say, "Stop plundering for your own extravagance!" "Stop destroying for your own ease!" or "Be satisfied with a life of austerity!" the city would surely consider us subversive elements, and look upon us with severe disapproval. The real subversive elements are the city dwellers themselves, who continue their rapacious and destructive ways as if it is their natural right, who nonchalantly continue their lives of convenience, while contentedly patting their fat bellies.

Should We Be "Thankful" for Urban Civilization?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, there are many who believe that the flourishing of civilization and culture is more important than anything else; that the city, the value of which is absolute, is contributing 100 percent to such; and that the city is sacred and must not be desecrated. Though I have already said quite a bit on this subject, I would here like to go into it in a little more detail.

For example, the believers say that the civilization of the Shinkansen train and the jet has made considerable contributions to politics, economics, and culture. A company of singers that performs in Tokyo at noon can give the same performance in Osaka in the evening. "Is this not a wonderful world we live in?" they say. Who are they kidding? This silver-tongued, idiotic lot of singers, these idle and gluttonous bloodsuckers, go from Tokyo to Osaka on the Shinkansen which wastes incredible amounts of energy, assaults our ears with noise, and runs on rails over the concrete ties which are destroying the land. Then in Osaka they sing the same idiotic songs. Now, tell me what I should be thankful for. Should I be thankful for the activities of such people who, with each passing minute, bring about the increasing devastation of the Earth?

Politicians can take jets to other countries, thereby enabling them to take care of important political affairs in little time, and the believers claim that this is a blessing of our modern urban civilization. They say that the ability of international traders to jet to other countries and quickly conclude business deals is due to the same. And they say that, thanks to the jet civilization, it is possible for old and young alike to freely go to other countries, learn more abut the world and soak up culture.

Let us not be fooled. When politicians hurry to other countries by jet and confer with other politicians, it is almost always to insure the progress and prosperity of their own countries. And as I have said before, progress and prosperity are inseparable from environmental contamination and the destruction of the Earth. Should we really be thankful when politicians, in order to discuss such things, jet to other countries, destroy the ozone layer, waste energy, produce noise pollution, and do it all with tax money?

When international traders (the "economic animals") go to other countries, the purpose is of course to plunder the developing nations, or to suck up to the industrialized nations (although an overabundance of merchandise in their warehouses is clearly the result of squandering resources and squeezing labor to produce more than is necessary, they believe implicitly that this state has come about because other countries do not buy, so they try to hard-sell more by dumping). Should we be thankful that they hurry by jet to other countries so that they can cause trouble for the developing countries and cause more trade friction with the industrialized countries?

Everyone and his dog are going to foreign countries these days. Quiz programs on television usually bait people with promises of foreign travel. What are all these people whizzing off to other countries for, on the jets that boast of being the worst polluters? Is it to see the rare beauty of foreign scenery? Are there no mountains in Japan? Is there no ocean? There is little difference between the ocean at Boso and that in Hawaii. In the mountains near their homes there are places they are unfamiliar with. All those people who have no time to consider the appearance of a single tree, to feel the pathos of a single blade of grass - what do they expect to experience abroad? Is it that the scale is different? If you pine after magnificence, then stand where you are and look up at the sun's great orb. Lift your eyes to the night sky and gaze at the cosmos.

What? Your want to research foreign sexual customs? You lecherous slobs! [35]

Travel abroad in the name of study and training is none other than for the purpose of learning the techniques of idleness and gluttony, or to make preparations for contamination and destruction. Even in Japan there is much of this going on, but in whatever country it is the extreme of evil. Are we supposed to be thankful when people go abroad for sightseeing, sex, or study, and then come back bug-eyed with amazement? Are we supposed to be thankful that, because of their activities, the Earth is more devastated minute by minute?

The "wonderful world we live in" is the "city." We must take drastic measures to get rid of the city.

Even If We Do Not Eradicate the Cities, They Are Fated to Perish

But the city has underestimated the situation. "If you think it's possible to get rid of the cities, then go ahead and try," it says. "What can you accomplish in your frenzied condition?"

Well, this certainly is true. Once the city realizes that it is impossible to banish currency or get the farmers and co-ops to stop food shipments, it is natural to sit back and relax, for the city is right.

However, let us note once more that, though we cannot get rid of the cities by our own actions, the cities are in actuality bound to perish (I will treat this in a later chapter). The city's underestimation of the situation will lead to its own fall in the near future.

The depletion of mineral resources, the drying up of the oil fields, nuclear war, the destruction and contamination of the environment, food shortages, economic panic, computers, robots, overproduction, backlogged inventories, trade friction, violence by the unemployed - these will all lead to uninhabited cities. But the city's swaggering, unconcerned attitude toward these things will only bring about a crises state that much sooner. As long as the city continues to underestimate the dangers, to waste without a moment's afterthought, to make more nuclear weapons, to urbanize farmland, to change the forests to desert, to contaminate the land and the sea, to develop convenient machines, to produce an overabundance of goods - as long as the city continues in this manner, how many more years can it live without a care?

The prophet Nostradamus, who has been 99 percent accurate, says that in July 1999 the Great King of Fear will come down from the sky, and humanity will face annihilation. This would seem to be right on target, since the cities are heading for destruction at full speed, and will probably perish at that very time. Unfortunately, this bit of prophecy cannot but hit the bull's eye.

There Will Be No Cities in the Twenty-First Century

The cities are bound to perish, and they have not long to live. Even if we do nothing but stand by and twiddle our thumbs, the cities will suffer automatic annihilation.

There will be no cities in the twenty-first century. It is nonsensical to believe that in the next century the Earth will be covered with 20 million cities. This is almost the same as the estimate that, should the population continue to increase at the present rate (and assuming the absence of epidemics, war, and starvation), population density 700 years hence will be such that there is one person per each square foot, including the mountains. If people estimate that in the twenty-first century 20 million cities will swell to cover the Earth, then it is for that very reason that the cities will perish. And if they estimate that the population density will become such that there is one person for every square foot of land, then it is for that very reason that humanity will perish.

There is no doubt that this will come to pass. The rails have been laid, and the city is rolling along right on course. From whatever angle, and with however sympathetic eyes, we look at the city, we cannot but conclude that it is bound to perish by reason of the urbanization phenomenon itself.

Even now, Nostradamus is surely watching from afar, boasting over the accuracy of his prediction, and laughing at the insatiable progress, prosperity, and obsessive delusions of us human beings.

I will say it once more: The cities are bound to perish. Even if I were to swing at the ground with a maul and miss, there is no mistake in predicting so. Even if the sun rises in the west, and even if the rivers run upstream, there is no way to stop the annihilation of the cities. Verily, in the next century the city must make reparations for its 5,000 years of wickedness.

The Only Way to Save Ourselves and the Earth Is to Cut Ourselves

Off from the City

But if the cities are bound to perish anyway, why not just let things go on as they are? many will say.

The fact is, we cannot just sit around and wait for it to happen, because it will then be too late. The cities are trying to ruin the whole Earth in order that they themselves will perish. We must not allow ourselves to be dragged down with them. Though it may appear cowardly, we must cut ourselves off from the cities before that time comes.

Cutting ourselves off from the cities will first of all help prevent their further expansion, and begin their contraction. And this is not impossible, for our ancestors long ago did the same thing. Let us not allow this to be a mere dream; let us try to use that one slim chance given humanity and the Earth.

Now is the Time to Escape from the City

I now appeal to the people in the city to give up those white collar jobs and get out of the city.

If even one of you leaves the city and takes up farming, that makes possible the contraction of the city by 1/9,000,000th. It also makes possible the lessening of the city's evils by the same 1/9,000,000th.

Escape from the city is not only the victim's flight from the city, which he feels cannot last much longer, but it is also a withdrawal from the position of the malefactor - those accomplices of evil, the city dwellers who refuse to budge.

And I also want to appeal to those in the farming villages to stop producing vast quantities of food, and to embark on self-sufficient farming.

For every one of you that ends your dependence on the city (actually the dependence of the city on you) and becomes an independent farmer, we will be able to chase 1/90,000,000th of the city's population out of the city, and reduce the city's evils by the same amount. (At present 10 percent of the Japanese population farms, and the other 90 percent lives in the cities. This works out to one farmer feeding nine idlers, so for every one farmer that stops feeding the city, we can shrink the city by nine people.)

The city is, of course, perfectly free to feed itself with food imports. It can import all the vegetables, fruit, meat, and eggs that it likes. When the time comes, the president of Sony can take charge.

Becoming an independent farmer - I can call this the "Bagworm


The combined effect of leaving those white collar jobs and becoming an independent farmer will without a doubt prevent the expansion of the cities and begin their contraction. I am sure that this is the one ray of light, the one hope, we have of assuring our survival, and we must take advantage of it before the cities see their final collapse.

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