Before the Polis
The wood is the origin of democracy not only for human beings, but wildlife, too. Unfortunately, hunters from urban areas have never heard that the wood stands for humankind’s original home. In the area where I live, just a week ago some young men, on opening day of the hunting season—so I am told—shot two moose calves, and were so exited or ashamed of their ‘success’ that they so completely wasted themselves on alcohol that, fortunately, they did not go hunting the following day. However one thinks of such manifestations of barbarism, one cannot escape noting that violence continues to be acceptable to a significant element of Latvian society even though it has itself been repeatedly violated by wars and occupations. The long duree of history (also maladie longue duree) of culture apparently continues to believe that ‘progress’ can be had for ‘free’ with just a ‘little’ applications of violence. After all, hunting moose hurts no human beings, and what is the life of the calf of a moose or a Palestinian when compared to the life of a Latvian or Israeli? As yet—so the imbedded thinking goes—if a government claims itself ‘democratic’ and says that hunting is okay; it must be so, and I can play at being dumb without consequences.