Al Gedicks, The New Resource Wars
Boston: South End Press, 1993
In industrial society, “man’s dominion over nature” has preempted the perception of Natural Law as central. Linear concepts of “progress” dominate this worldview. From this perception of “process” as an essential component of societal development (defined as economic growth and technological advancement) comes the perception of the natural world as a wilderness in need of “cultivation” or “taming,” and of some peoples as being “primitive” while others are “civilized.” This, of course, is the philosophical underpinning of colonialism and “conquest.”
This way of thinking is also present in scientific system of thought like “Darwinism,” as well as in social interpretations of human behavior such as “Manifest Destiny,” with its belief in some god-ordained right of some humans to dominate the earth. These concepts are central to the legacy of the Columbus quincentennary and the present state of relations between native and settler in North America and elsewhere. This conflict, in its present state, is also indicative of the scope of the problem—and the reality that a society based on conquest cannot survive.