30 November 2011

Entanglements of unnecessary complications

The life of savages is so simple, and our societies are such complicated machines! The Tahitian is so close to the origin of the world, while the European is close to its old age. The contrast between them and us is grater than the difference between a newborn baby and a doddering old man. They understand absolutely nothing about our manners or our laws, and they are bound to see in them nothing but shackles disguised in a hundred different ways. Those shackles could only provoke the indignation and scorn of creatures in whom the most profound feeling is love of liberty.

-Denis Diederot (1774)

Taken from the indispensable anthology Against Civilization