seekinghaven (seekinghaven) wrote,

What others have said about land

After re-reading my last post, whose basic point is that we must have land before we can build Haven, I was moved to search for quotes about land.  Surprisingly, there weren't many -- not about land itself, anyway.  There were more that put political boundaries around the concept of "land", using the word as a synonym for the kind of political entity we might better call a state or empire or somesuch.  So I expanded my search terms to include "ground", "soil", "earth"... Finally I came up with quite a long list.  The following are just a few I thought I would share here:

"We shall never understand the natural environment until we see it as a living organism. Land can be healthy or sick, fertile or barren, rich or poor, lovingly nurtured or bled white. Our present attitudes and laws governing the ownership and use of land represent an abuse of the concept of private property.... Today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see and nobody calls the cops."  Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness (1971)

Our land is more valuable than your money. As long as the sun shines and the waters flow, this land will be here to give life to men and animals; therefore, we cannot sell this land. It was put here for us by the Great Spirit and we cannot sell it because it does not belong to us.
    Blackfoot chief, (c. 1880)

"Naught is possessed, neither gold, nor land, nor love, nor life, nor peace, nor even sorrow nor death, nor yet salvation.  Say of nothing: It is mine.  Say only: It is with me."  
D.H. Lawrence

LAND, n. A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure. Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of _terra firma_ is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist."
 Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary

We do not inherit this land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
    Haida Indian saying

"What greater stupidity can be imagined than that of calling jewels, silver, and gold 'precious,' and earth and soil 'base'? People who do this ought to remember that if there were as great a scarcity of soil as of jewels or precious metals, there would not be a prince who would not spend a bushel of diamonds and rubies and a cartload of gold just to have enough earth to plant a jasmine in a little pot, or to sow an orange seed and watch it sprout, grow, and produce its handsome leaves, its fragrant flowers, and fine fruit. It is scarcity and plenty that make the vulgar take things to be precious or worthless; they call a diamond very beautiful because it is like pure water, and then would not exchange one for ten barrels of water."
    Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)

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