Friday, January 31, 2020

Enchantment and Exploitation Essay Example for Free

Enchantment and Exploitation Essay The pages of human history daubed in bloodshed related to conflicts of culture, race, and territorial ambitions coupled with economic interests, ask the crying question. How to make this Planet Earth heaven like? The answer is simple and straightforward. Eyes full of understanding, hearts full of love and mutual respect for each other’s way of life-enough, these alone are enough! The history of northern New Mexico is the example of the abovementioned exploitative behavior of successive waves of settlers. The mindless, aggressive and violent deeds relating to the historical past to defeat and unsettle the natives and destruction of the forest wealth, have created a new issue of environmental problems. The living style of the natives was one of deep respect for the Nature, imbibed with their own spiritual values. Nothing much is known about the people who lived in high Sangres. The archeologists and the intellectuals of the modern materialistic civilization fail to appreciate the modes and contented living styles of the native people. â€Å"They were gatherers and hunters whose closest cultural contacts lay with the Oshara tradition of the Desert Culture, centered to the west. Their living arrangements were flexible and mobile. They had few possessions, built most of their shelters to last only weeks or months, and irregularly congregated in groups of several dozen or dispersed in small family bands†(deBuys,William,1985,p,31) They wandered from place to place, were part-time agriculturists by profession. What they produced, like maize, squash, beans in canyon bottoms was less than adequate to meet their family needs. They protected themselves against flood, drought and other hazards with their traditional methods. The prime task of an aggressor is to take possession of as much land as is possible to establish a firm foot holding. Such people will employ every mean method to subdue the original settlers, legally if possible, illegally if necessary. History is the witness— there are always black sheep among the natives who are willing to betray the interests of their brethren for corrupt considerations. When the so-called moral and principled Americans came to this new land, they found the conditions favorable for them. â€Å"By exploiting the discordances between Spanish and American codes of law, Anglo speculators, often assisted by native New Mexican ricos and politicos, managed to buy up many tens of thousands of acres of valuable land grants for very little money.†(deBuys, p, 171) The civilized man needs to know that he can become master of his environment temporarily and then get ready to face the disastrous consequences. But the aggressors succeeded in stripping most of the Territory’s Hispanic villagers of their patrimony and their main source of wealth. Land disputes led to bitterness, rivalry and troubles in New Mexico even now. When people abuse land, whether it is in the backward Mexico hill range, or the forward America, the results are the same—inviting disaster for the life of humanity and the livestock as a whole. Nature does not condone its exploitation. â€Å"Through the late 1800s similar die-offs of livestock, caused always by a combination of overstocking, range deterioration, and bad weather, became common throughout the West. And in parallel fashion, westerners rapidly cut down their mountain forests in order to build towns, prop mine tunnels, and lay thousands of miles of railroad track.†(deBuys, p, 235) The modern man is not willing to experience himself as part of nature but as competitive outside force, destined to dominate it and conquer.   He does not realize that if he wins the battle against the nature he will soon find himself on the losing side. Look what happened in USA, a country that boasts of modern civilization. In the Civil War years, appalling conditions prevailed in California. Cattle and sheep perished in thousands, when nothing was left after overgrazing the rangelands and the perennial grasses was totally destroyed. Arizona, Wyoming, Montana and other cattle-growing regions did not learn lessons from the events in California. Man, whether savage or civilized, is a child of nature and this fact should be understood and accepted before it is too late, when the nature begins to react. The end of the natural resources is not the end of the story. With the deterioration of environment, the civilization declines. The wise saying goes, â€Å"civilized man has marched across the face of the earth and left a desert in his footprints.† Americans, Anglo speculators, assisted by the local rich class, destroyed the natural resources in Mexico. Usable timber was burnt, forested valleys and hillsides were systematically destroyed.   They killed most of the wide life. And finally the exploitation of the area reached the non-sustainable level and elk, bighorn sheep, grizzly bear, ptarmigan and pine marten were totally extinct. The protective topsoil was eroded. The resultant silt reached reservoirs, streams, irrigation canals, and harbors. They followed the road to ruin and it resulted in deep fissures within the conquering society and the natives. Historical records mainly contain accounts of battles, exploits of the kings and queens, their grandeur and wealth etc. They should have studied the historical importance of geography! The land use was an important factor on which destinies of civilizations and empires were largely determined. The existing competition among the various sections of the society for employment is another addition to the historical list of problems. The differences in the Anglo and Hispanic cultures on the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico have not been ironed out totally up to his day. The three principle cultures, Anglo, Hispanic and Native American continue to be at loggerheads on many issues related to their interests. At the same time there is awareness among these groups about the advantage of living in unity amongst the cultural diversity. One of their common causes is ecology. Restoring the balance in the natural resources is everybody’s concern for which a solid framework is worked out. When you take care of the mountains, they will take care of all races of humanity in more than one way, irrespective of their historical backgrounds and the present conflicts. With such a restoration process in swing, the past wounds of the natives will heal to some extent and they stand vindicated as for their custom and traditions of accepting nature in utter reverence. Any boastful materialistic achievements of the 2000s should not prevent the native people of northern New Mexico to fight to respect and hold on to their history, land and cultural way of life. Conclusion: The wise saying goes—every action has the reaction and the intensity of the reaction is in proportion to the intensity of the action. The spiritualist and the scientist, both agree on this issue. Whenever the human being tried to define nature, it has co-operated, as for his investigative genius. Whenever he tried to defy nature, is has invariably awarded him with appropriate punishment. Economic ambitions are good servants, but they are bad masters; the man will destroy the natural flora and fauna at his own peril! The environmentalists need to go through the history of the Life and Hard Times of a New Mexican Mountain Range for a while.   The examination of the historical facts will highlight the increasing exploitative behavior of successive waves of settlers that resulted in disastrous consequences. Having done the worst, it is now time to find solutions to the region’s environmental problems. References: deBuys, William: Book: Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexico Mountain Range Paperback: 416 pages Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1 edition (September 1, 1985) Language: English ISBN-10: 0826308201 ISBN-13: 978-0826308207

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