Saturday, January 02, 2016

THEIR ONE PRINCIPLE IS GROWTH



Ellos no van a ningún caucus, no hacen ningún compromiso y no usan ninguna política. Su único principio es el crecimiento. Combinan un verdadero radicalismo cono un verdadero conservatismo. Su radicalismo no es ninguna poda de raíces, sino una infinita multiplicación y extensión de ellas por debajo de todas las instituciones alrededor. Toman una base más firme en la tierra para poder alzarse más alto en los cielos. Su conservador corazón de madera, en el que la savia ya no fluye, no empobrece su crecimiento sino que es una columna firme para soportarlo, y cuando sus troncos en expansión no lo necesitan, decae completamente (…) A diferencia de los hombres no se convierten de radicales a conservadores. Su parte conservadora muere primero; su  parte radical y en crecimiento sobrevive.
HDT
“Es extraño que tan pocos hayan venido a los bosques a ver cómo el pino vive, crece y muere, elevando sus brazos siempre verdes hacia la luz-para ver su éxito perfecto-, y que por el contrario la mayoría se contenten con contemplarlos bajo la forma de anchos tablones traidos al mercado y consideren que este es su verdadero éxito.Pero el pino no es más tablero que el hombre, y ser convertido en listones y casas no es su más valioso y verdadero uso, de la misma manera que el uso más verdadero del hombre no es ser despedazado y convertido en abono.

Hay una ley de mayor rango que afecta tanto a nuestra relación con los pinos como a nuestra relación con los hombres.Un pino cortado, un pino muerto, no es más un pino que la carcasa muerta de un humano es un hombre.¿Puede decir aquel que ha descubierto solo algunos de los valores de los huesos y aceites de ballena haber descubierto el verdader uso de la ballena?.¿Puede aquel que mata al elefante por su marfil decir que ha “visto el elefante”?.Estos son usos menores y accidentales, como lo serían los de una raza más fuerte que nos matara a nosotros para fabricar botones y flautas con nuestros huesos, porque cualquier cosa puede servir tanto para un uso bajo como para uno alto.Cada criatura es mejor viva que muerta, los hombres, los alces y los pinos, y el que lo entiende correctamente antes preservará su vida que la destruirá”

The Maine Woods. 
“Chesuncook��.” Ed. Joseph J. Moldenhauer. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972.121.

Traducción Guillermo Ruiz

(Primera vez aquí 11 de enero de 2009)


Diario 24 de enero de 1856
I have seen many a collection of stately elms which better deserved to be represented at the General Court than the manikins beneath,—than the barroom and victualling cellar and groceries they overshadowed. When I see their magnificent domes, miles away in the horizon, over intervening valleys and forests, they suggest a village, a community, there. But, after all, it is a secondary consideration whether there are human dwellings beneath them; these may have long since passed away. I find that into my idea of the village has entered more of the elm than of the human being. They are worth many a political borough. They constitute a borough. The poor human representative of his party sent out from beneath their shade will not suggest a tithe of the dignity, the true nobleness and comprehensiveness of the view, the sturdiness and independence, and the serene beneficence that they do. They look from township to township. A fragment of their bark is worth the backs of all the politicians in the union. They are free-soilers in their own broad sense. They send their roots north and south and east into many a conservative’s Kansas and Carolina, who does not suspect such underground railroads,—they improve the subsoil he has never disturbed,—and many times their length, if the support of their principles requires it. They battle with the tempests of a century. See what scars they bear, what limbs they lost before we were born! Yet they never adjourn; they steadily vote for their principles, and send their roots further and wider from the same centre. They die at their posts, and they leave a tough butt for the choppers to exercise themselves about, and a stump which serves for their monument. They attend no caucus, they make no compromise, they use no policy. Their one principle is growth. They combine a true radicalism with a true conservatism. Their radicalism is not cutting away of roots, but an infinite multiplication and extension of them under all surrounding institutions. They take a firmer hold on the earth that they may rise higher into the heavens. Their conservative heartwood, in which no sap longer flows, does not impoverish their growth, but is a firm column to support it; and when their expanding trunks no longer require it, it utterly decays. Their conservatism is a dead but solid heart-wood, which is the pivot and firm column of support to all this growth, appropriating nothing to itself, but forever by its support assisting to extend the area of their radicalism. Half a century after they are dead at the core, they are preserved by radical reforms. They do not, like men, from radicals turn conservative. Their conservative part dies out first; their radical and growing part survives. They acquire new States and Territories, while the old dominions decay, and become the habitation of bears and owls and coons.

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