>>527>The things that make us human are not found in "nature", but in the relationships to other humans, and to our means of production.
And also should say here that what makes us human is something only our species possesses, some Subject that we can't really talk about because it is the thing that is not reducible to any physiological process or part of our brain or body. It's something that emerges from this particular configuration of matter. The social relationships and relationships to nature, i.e. to the means by which we shape nature, are what shapes us as people. This is why people are different, and not some evolutionary psychology or genetic shit.
This is why Rafiq was getting so pissed. Because if you accept the premises of what he calls "pop science" and NatGeo shit then the logical conclusion of that is that some races of people are superior to others. This nature and genetics stuff is where these "academic racists" (we call them "racial realists now") get their justification from. That's why "logical" "intellectuals" like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins advocate are racists and practically advocate for eugenics.
Therefore, you have to reject the idealist ideology that claims that some "pure, untouched nature exists and that humans, as animals, are part of this wondrous landscape. Look as the helicopter spews black smog and we fill the air with noise as we film this "untouched" nature. Look at how our cameraman has to sit, nonthreatening in a bush until the animal he tries to film gets used to him. Now behold as he films this "unspoiled" piece of nature. And Rafiq is right, it's fucking stupid and ridiculous. Sure, enjoy the films of nature, I do, but don't pretend like you're witnessing some sort of wonder. It's call human-created.
An example I can think of is how we revere the past and preserve every little bit from the past we can find. We build new buildings around old buildings specifically to protect the old buildings? People in the past used to destroy old buildings and palaces and used the material to build other things, things that were needed in that moment, when the old palace fulfilled its role. And what do we do about these old symbols of oppression? We talk about how wonderful they are to have withstood the test of time, and we talk about the people who owned it, who are not people to us really, just some figures and representations of people, but we do not talk of the very real labour that went into building it. Every single stone in one of these "amazing", enduring buildings, was chiseled by the hand of a human, a worker.
Same with nature, we talk about it as if it were something that exists without us, yet we do not talk about the human touch that went into every single thing that we see as nature. When we look out at nature, we see ourselves reflected.