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Down with the Cities! By Tadashi Nakashima Characters: 16290

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07


Even if we do absolutely nothing, and let things continue on as they are, the city will automatically perish. Even if I should swing at the ground with a maul and miss, the demise of the city will surely come to pass.

Indulging in Ease, the City Destroys the Future

In a corner of northern Africa, out on the desolate sands, there was a small stand of trees, barely keeping itself alive. In the top of a tree was a boy lopping off branches with a hatchet, and below there were a few goats greedily eating the leaves. This was a scene of Africa's final hour as shown on television. [41]

Around the trees, as far as one could see, there was only barren land; after the goats consumed the leaves on these trees, there would be nothing. The goats were facing starvation, and the boy, who lived on the goats' milk, would be visited by the same fate.

"Does this boy know," said the voice of the television, "that he is cutting his own throat? Even if he does, this is the only way to live until tomorrow."

You, in the cities! Can you view this merely as the misfortune of others? The fate of this boy is the fate of the city.

You too are cutting limbs off trees every day. In order to live through the day (or, more precisely, in order to continue enjoying convenience, extravagance, and ease, to continue the pursuit of profit, to seek glory and praise, and to continue your stupid competition) you keep on lopping off branches. It does not matter to you if this is the march of death; you continue to waste the few remaining resources, to destroy and contaminate our irreplaceable natural environment, to reduce the amount of farmland, which is your lifeline. How much longer do you think you can live while sacrificing your own future?

Petroleum: the City's Support;

Petroleum: the City's Demise

Even if the prediction that petroleum will run out in another 30 years is wrong, this does not mean that there is an unlimited amount. It is an undeniable fact that, for every drop of petroleum used, the reserves will be reduced by that same amount.

And it is not just petroleum, for the same rule holds true for iron, copper, aluminum, and uranium, and it is no different for the so-called new materials. As long as there is no proof that these new materials are made from a vacuum, and that their process of manufacture requires no energy, there is no denying that any new material invented is subject to the same fate.

Let us note also that since these buried resources are used in close conjunction with one another, the city will be threatened by a lack of even one of them. For example, should there be a shortage of manganese, steelmaking will suffer. If we run short of copper, there will be no more motors that use copper wire in their coils, and whole industrial sector will be paralyzed. Here they cannot say that "even if we run out of copper, we can use tin or nickel."

Petroleum is the same in that there is no replacement. We hear that nuclear power will act in its place, but then nuclear power cannot be used as the raw material for manufactured articles, and even in the field of energy it is said that, if we do not have an amount of petroleum which corresponds to one-fourth the energy gained from nuclear power, it is impossible to operate the nuclear power plants.

Nature's Retaliation Is Assured

So we have seen that when the petroleum runs out (whether it be 30 or 50 years in the future, it does not matter) the modern city will perish, but there is one other noteworthy matter here, and that is, before the oil wells run dry, the city must perish twice for the sake of petroleum.

One reason is that, because of the poisons released by petroleum, the city will become uninhabitable. We have already seen that, when one traces them back to the source, the physical cause of all forms of pollution is petroleum. No matter to what extent the city was made to flush untreated wastes into the rivers and oceans, no matter how impudent the urbanites are, and no matter how much the people at the Environment Agency shirk their duties, if petroleum suddenly disappeared from before our very eyes, it is sure that 80 percent of our present pollution (including chemicals, food additives, and agricultural chemicals) would disappear along with it. Will the city perish because of petroleum's poisons, or because of its disappearance?

It is almost as if petroleum was discovered for the purpose of eradicating the cities. Verily, the sum total of the petroleum poisons in the whole world is exactly that needed to get rid of the cities. Nature is making an example of the cities for us. No matter what reason there could be, the arrogant and extravagant city cannot be expected to give up petroleum until it has consumed the last drop, so noting what the future will bring, Nature promised the Earth that the cities would perish. The city must pay a price commensurate with the convenience and extravagance (in reality, the destruction and contamination) it has thus far enjoyed, and that price is the demise of the city. This is the great Iron Hammer of Nature (Nature's retaliation).

The Petroleum Grabfest Will End in Total Nuclear War

The second way in which the city will perish for the sake of petroleum is the total nuclear war brought on by the frantic scramble for petroleum. The city will have no choice. The urbanites are steeped in the prosperity of the city - convenience, extravagance, ease, the Pursuit of Profit, production competition, glory, and praise, all gained by means of squandering petroleum - and there is no mistaking that, when they begin to have that terrible feeling that the oil is about to run out, they will go mad and try to rob it from others. [42] Should the city just try to be gentlemanly about the matter, it will be totally paralyzed, so no matter what stands in the way, the city will without reserve begin the fight for petroleum. Nuclear war will begin in this way, and most of the cities in the world - including the urbanized country - will be destroyed. It will be the end of humanity except for those in the back country of New Guinea or the Amazon.

When this time comes it will be too late for warnings, countermeasures, or practice of any kind. We must realize that our time for extinction has come, and calmly reap as we have sown. [43]

The Inevitable Fate of the City:

Development = Doom

"Digging one's own grave" - Here is the expression which has described the city since it first appeared on Earth. In Chapter IV, I noted that the city itself is the explosive that came into being in order to get rid of the city, and verily, the city has, by means of choosing the course of growth and development, rushed down the road to oblivion since the time it first appeared. There has never been an instance of the city lessening, even for a day, its efforts to destroy itself, or resting in its labors to dig its own grave. The reason for establishing the city is to achieve ease and gluttony, and the attainment of this objective necessitates plunder, destruction, and contamination; this is none other than the rush down the road to ruin. There is no other possible course for the city to follow. Should one hope for another course for the city to follow, it would have to be the complete negation of the city's reason for being, and the cessation of ease and gluttony (plunder, destruction, and contamination, i.e., the functions of the city). One must always keep in mind that, should one, with one's mind set on ease and gluttony, establish the city and allow it to continue its activities, ruin is its inevitable fate.

Therefore, since ruin is the city's mission, it is only natural that the city's all-pervading image is that of a person digging his own grave. And then, in order that the city can execute its mission with even greater effectiveness, it continues adding on, stacking up, coupling, compounding, and amplifying, in that way helping to hasten its own demise. Recently the New City Image has made its appearance.

The Self-Destructive Apparatus of Civilization Cannot Be Stopped

A robot manufactur

ing company introduced robots into its own robot factory. This is because it was impossible for the company to compete in the marketplace unless it made an example of its own factory. No longer able to continue operations, it went belly up. In this way the manager of the robot factory was forced to risk his life in the establishment of a roboticized robot factory. Upon completion of the factory, the manager and 600 employees all lost their jobs. It was for that reason (and also to become a model for the industry) that they did it. In order to remain on the cutting edge of technology and stay out in front of the competition it was necessary to build a factory that would allow the presence of not a single human being.

"Right now we are working like bees in order to build an apparatus that will cut our own throats," said one of the employees in a television interview. "This will eventually take place in all factories. It can't be helped - if we don't do it, the company will fold. Lately I've been giving serious thought to becoming a hired hand on a dairy farm in Hokkaido after I lose this job."

But not all 600 could find jobs herding cattle, and not all of them could do the job even if they were asked. An economy based on money generates legions of idle people hungry for money, and they come up with all sorts of schemes to make a living, such as the investment magazines, and the recent Toyota Trading Company scandal. [44]

Nowadays robots can do just about anything, and we rejoice over how convenient and quick everything has become, and over civilization's progress, but we had better look again, because civilization is robbing us of our jobs. Whether in developed or developing countries, civilization is the enemy of human survival.

I have described one of the new conditions under which the city will self-destruct (or become uninhabited). The city, which once achieved prosperity by means of civilization, will soon perish by means of civilization. How could this possibly be stopped?

The Contradictions and Tyranny of the City Render Recycling

Impossible

I have noted many times that by means of destroying the forests and transforming the land into desert the city is not only bringing about crises for the developing countries, but is also threatening its own existence. Knowing just this is enough to tell us that the city has not long to live. It should be evident to anyone that the city is responsible for the fearsomely rapid spread of the deserts in the developing countries, the increase in barren land, the decrease in the amount of oxygen, the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide, and, more than anything else, the shortage of pulp.

The future of the city depends in a large measure upon its all-important paper - wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, bathroom tissue, newspapers, magazines, and computer printing paper. So the city is saddled with the contradiction that it cannot stop its profligacy. The regions which produce the wood for this paper are turning into deserts minute by minute.

The other day an employee of a factory that makes chips from imported wood came to see my chickens. "Every day my factory converts an awesome amount of imported wood into chips," he said, "and it is all used to produce the wrapping paper used in department stores. For stupid vanity and convenience we are plunging the developing countries into crisis, and cutting our own throats at the same time. I can no longer bear the futility, or being party to the great crime of doing such work. I want to become a self-sufficient farmer, and so came to see your chickens." * * * I also noted earlier that the city continues its limitless expansion on a global scale, and that, inversely proportional to this, farmland is limitlessly plundered. This too shows us that the city is not long for this world. The contradictions and tyranny of the urbanites, who seek to continue their gluttony even as they steal the farmland that produces their food, are beyond the comprehension of the ordinary person.

A short time ago I happened to visit a public facility in Fukui, and spoke to one of the personnel. "This area used to be prime rice paddies," he explained. "But as you can see, it is now a fine public meeting hall and a big parking lot. In this way we continue to lose farmland. When I think of what will eventually happen, shivers run down my spine."

In the neighborhood of my daughter's farm they are talking about making a golf course. If they go through with the plan, the developers will purchase the fields and wooded areas around my daughter's farm and make it all into a golf course. I asked if anyone was opposing this plan and was told that not one person in the village was against it. If anyone were to oppose the plan they would be ostracized from the village since, once the golf course is completed, not only will the fields and woods be transformed into piles of money, but there will be a rest facility, a restaurant, and jobs. In this way little effort is required of the city in order to steal more farmland and urbanize it. And what is really surprising is that I have not yet heard of any plan to convert the city into farmland.

Biotechnology: Violating the Province of Nature

The city is replete with evidence of self-destruction, and it projects many images of people digging their own graves, so one could not possibly write about all of them. But I would like to add a final word about biotechnology.

The work of evolving and fostering the species is the province of Nature, and has taken billions of years. Whether it be a single grass seed or a single tree leaf, nothing came into being overnight; each thing is the product of the complex and wondrous interaction of species that have repeated adaptation and selection over an incomprehensibly long time. If, in this net of interaction among species, even one of the nodes should exhibit unusual development or disappear, the balance of the ecosystem is disturbed; species that cannot stand the strain will perish, and the ecosystem then reorganizes itself to seek a new point of balance. This is what I mean by natural selection (the dispensation of Nature).

But now we see those cleverly conceited, high-handed, and arrogant human beings invading the province of Nature, and trying their hand at biotechnology; in a short period of time they are attempting to change that which Nature has taken billions of years to make, or to create something new. The species adapt to their environments (air, water, sunlight, the Land, and the net of interactions among species) and survive by maintaining their balance through mutual assistance, but in order to do this it requires the total history of its own evolution since the time it appeared.

If human beings now carry through with their desire to make sudden changes in the species, there is a danger that the balance of the ecosystem will require a great upheaval (the iron hammer of Nature) in order to correct the distortion brought about by human violence and seek the next level of balance. This is Nature's retaliation.

Nature's retaliation will first of all attack human beings directly (in correcting the imbalance brought about by biotechnology, there is no better way than striking down its inventor, human beings).

If we continue eating strange new creations which are not of the earth and which violate the natural diet of human beings (for example, soybean protein cultured in tanks with colonic bacteria, or isomerized sugars and oligosaccharides made from transformed biomass) cell regeneration will be adversely affected, and assimilation will be disturbed. By changing our diets and ingesting synthetic chemical compounds we will increase the incidence of cancer and liver disorders.

Because the purveyors of news will perish as well, they will not give us the news that "humanity perished after eating artificial food." By producing our own food and by assimilating the blessings of Nature in our own locale, we can at least preserve the unurbanized portion of the land. The city will take a lot with it when it goes.

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