So much is built, engineered, made, created, refined, dug, excavated, explored, won, cultivated, grown, reaped, harvested, stored, stacked, inundated, drained, reclaimed, mined, transported, manufactured, constructed, operated, maintained, pruned, pared, arranged, organized, decommissioned, dismantled, calculated, computed, considered, reconsidered, tendered, retendered, procured, purchased, stocked, tested, retested, financed, refinanced, agreed on, amended, novated, interpreted, knit, sewn, stitched, appliquéd, cooked, baked, broiled, decorated, welded, glued, plastered, caulked, amalgamated, synthesized, separated, healed, devised, taught, second-guessed, falsified, peer-reviewed, second-opinioned, theorized, debated, criticized, boasted, learned, written, remembered, repeated, translated, painted, sculpted, shot, staged, played, rehearsed, performed, recited, recorded, posted, couriered, emailed, express-mailed, published, registered, enacted, laid down, heavy-lifted, improved, produced, fitted, repaired, renovated, refurbished, pushed, pulled, nailed, protected, fixed, refitted, composed.
I can’t wrap my head around so much creation. We must be organized like colonies of ants without knowing it. If one considers the bulk and complexity of a single apartment building on a Parisian boulevard it is impossible not to suspect that the human species is organized by an overarching instinct. We think it’s talent and creativity and expertise at the top, and workmanship and skill somewhere in the middle, and hard slog and following orders at the bottom. But no one would have thought of organizing themselves in that way. It must be animal instinct from which such organizational structures have gradually emerged and evolved and continue to be honed to enable us to accomplish ever greater things.
Destruction is not instinct. Destruction is always calculated. It is calculated as collateral loss, as permitted indifference, or as an instrument of hate, bigotry, greed, aggressiveness, intemperance, or egotism. There has never been any act of destruction, no matter the context, no matter how seemingly contained its impact, no matter if I committed it, that I respected or condoned or that I was able to shrug off as insignificant.