Frederick J. Harris

About Me

treesI am a forester and computer programmer and I specialize in writting forest mensuration/biometrics software.  I code in many DOS and Windows programming languages based on the C and BASIC families of languages.  I work for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as a Silviculture Program Specialist.  I work out of the Loyalsock State Forest Office located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and also out of the Rachael Carson State Office Building in downtown Harrisburg Pennsylvania.   I am also a bluegrass musician  and five string banjo player.

My Favorite Sites

Jose Roca Forum

Philosophy  (Or why Non-industrial Private Forestry Doesn't Work In The United States)

Previously Titled

                                 "Atomic Forestry, The Existential Forester, and Stewardship"

     Several decades of forestry research in the United States, and the experience of many field foresters during that time, has made it a commonplace that nonindustrial private forest landowners are not interested in long term timber management.  Nevertheless, as Professor Nyland well described in "Exploitation and Greed in Eastern Hardwood Forests" (Nyland, 1992), private landowners most certainly will sell timber, and when they do they will very often do it in such a manner that they violate every principle of conservative forestry ever established. The very fact that Professor Nyland wrote such an article, and that it was published, is revealing in itself; had that result been expected to occur, i.e., the exploitation he described, there would have been little sense in reporting it in the apocalyptic and mildly indignant tone of his article. A certain segment of the forestry profession in the Eastern United States did not expect the destructive exploitations he described to occur. According to the ideology of progress, things are supposed to get better, not worse. 

     The forestry profession in America has chosen to ignore the full implications of the fact that those sorts of personal 'values' that would lead or motivate an individual to engage in long term silviculture are not the result of a rational calculation of atomistic self interest, or even enlightened self interest, but are the result of historically developed cultural institutions that never existed and never could exist in the United States.  Forestry in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Germany, as learned by and imported into our country by the various early notables of our profession, was a technology intimately enmeshed within a cultural system having historical roots radically different from those of our own.  We should recognize, as many international organizations involved with development in third world countries have recognized to their dismay, that an element of technology - which is what forestry is, can not be extricated from its location in an integrated cultural system comprised of interrelated technological, socio-economic and ideological sectors, and be arbitrarily introduced into another and different culture with any hope of predictable results. Here in America we have been able to import from Germany their knowledge of such technical matters as thinning regimes and silvicultural systems, as well as the very flesh and blood of German foresters themselves, but we have not been able to import from them the cultural institutions within which these technological elements of culture existed.  Hence we have a great deal of knowledge of how to minipulate eastern hardwood forests to produce sustained crops of valuable hardwood timber, such as David Marquis' research findings with Allegheny hardwoods, but, in terms of the non-industrial private landowners who are the subject of this essay, we have not been able to import for them the will or motivation to adopt any of these practices. German forestry, like some fine European wine, does not travel.

        In 1887 German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies wrote a sociological classic entitled "Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft" (roughly translated as Community and Society) which presented a typological contrasting of two structurally distinct forms of social organization that form an actual developmental sequence in the history of Western Europe.  The context for Tonnies' book was the Industrial Revolution, an event that was rather late at getting started in the still institutionally medieval German states of his time.  The word 'Gemeinschaft' he used to describe the type of human interaction within those 'folk' communities of his nineteenth century rural Germany that were not yet unduly affected by the 'Great Transformation' of industrialization.  In such self sustaining rural communities, where division of labor was minimal, land was the basis of wealth, and communal ties of extended family, gild, and village, augumented by custom and religion, bound people into communities of collective interest. Such communities were a 'ship of fate', where all persons in community shared the same ultimate fate within the social system.  Pennsylvania's Old Order Mennonite and Amish communities would be present day examples of cultural organization typifying Tonnies' Gemeinschaft principle.

     In 'Gesellschaft' society, on the other hand, such as those areas affected by industrialization and the division of labor, Tonnies found that money was the basic unit of wealth, and impersonal contract and leglislation were the constituent basis of social interaction.  In gesellschaft the extended patriarchal or stem family was dismembered and the nuclear family took its place.  In the final stages of social pulverization, such as we are witnessing in the present age where divorce becomes almost inevitable, the nuclear family itself is atomized into seperate individuals who invoke rights against each other and who rationally pursue private interests.  Instead of a collectivity of  shared interests gesellschaft society is a collectivity of atomized individuals pursuing private interests and individual personal gain within an impersonal legal framework guaranteed by the centralized political power of the modern national state. 

     In the midieval Germany where forestry originated, a Germany organized into imperial cities, small cities, principalities, dukedoms, and baronial estates, the basic unit of which the gemeinschaft of the land was comprised was the patriarchal family from which land was inalienable.  The law of entail and the institution of primogeniture, which originated from religion in those ancient ages of the Indo-European race before the dawn of recorded history, guaranteed that property would remain so private that it could only with great difficulty be divided or alienated from the family.  We see here the highest development of the cultural institution of private property.  All landed property remained undivided for eventual posession by the eldest son, assuring the permanant alliance of blood and patriarchal soil.  'The customs and laws of primogeniture and entail' writes sociologist and institutional historian Robert Nisbet, '...were designed to protect the family character of property, to save it from becoming the uncertain, possibly transitory, possession of the individual alone.  Almost everything about the medieval law of family and marriage, including the stringent emphasis upon chasistity of the female, the terrible penalty that could be exerted against adultry by the wife, springs from a nearly absolute reverence for property, for legitimate heritability of property. So far as the inauguration of modernity is concerned in Western history, the abolition of the laws of entail and primogeniture will do as well as any single cause of the Great Transformation.'  Nisbet's allusion to the 'Great Transformation' is a term he borrowed from the brilliant Alexis De Tocqueville, described by Allen Bloom as 'one of the fairest flowers of the French Aristocracy', whose classic "Democracy in America" published in 1835 will provide us with the key we need to understand the relationship between these cultural institutions at the heart of feudalism, and the intensive forestry and stewardship of the Germany and France where forestry was born. In that all time classic of political philosophy, which resulted from Tocqueville's 1830's excursion to Jacksonian America, he discusses the innermost subjective motivations and feelings of individuals regarding land, and he relates these phenomenon to the 'right of primogeniture':

     Among nations whose law of descent is founded upon the right of primogeniture, landed estates often pass from generation
     to generation without undergoing division,--the consequence of which is, that family feeling is to a certain degree incorporated
     with the estate.  The family represents the estate, the estate the family,--whose name, together with its origin, its glory, its
     power, and its virtues, is thus perpetuated in an imperishable memorial of the past, and a sure pledge of the future. When the
     equal partition of property is established by law, the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling and the preservation
     of the paternal estate; the property ceases to represent the family; for, as it must inevitably be divided after one or two
     generations, it has evidently a constant tendency to diminish, and must in the end be completely dispersed.  The sons of the great
      landed proprietor, if they are few in number, or if fortune befriends them, may indeed entertain the hope of being as wealthy as
      their father, but not of posessing the same property that he did; their riches must be composed of other elements than his.  Now,
      as soon as you divest the landowner in that interest in the preservation of his estate which he derives from association, from
      tradition, and from family pride, you may be certain that, sooner or later, he will dispose of it; for there is a strong pecuniary
      interest in favor of selling, as floating capital produces higher interest than real property, and is more readily available to gratify
      the passions of the moment.   (Tocqueville 1898) 

     We see in Tocqueville's prose an accounting for a very moving sentiment, i.e., love for one's birth place, for the land from which springs one's 'glory', 'virtue', and 'power'; and this subjective sentiment he clearly related to a unique culture trait or social structure, the institution of primogeniture, that existed within the cultural matrix of feudalism in Western Europe.  We see here a way of accounting for the sort of subjective feelings that might be said to evidence posession of a land ethic, without having to resort to trancendentalism, modes of evolving consciousness, or any other unfortunate fabrication or reduction of a mystical, mentalistic, or pantheistic nature to which many writers on this topic turn when attempting to describe that frame of mind which we now apparently lack but to which we should aspire in our dealings with land.  The point here is not whether this situation is equitable in terms of  the individual interests of several children, only one of which will inherit the entire estate, but the effect this cultural institution had on individuals located within social structure. 

     A legal institution evolved over time such as primogeniture is not of a biological or bodily nature but is rather of a 'superbiological' (Kroeber, 1919), 'extrasomatic' (White, 1949), or 'extracorporeal' (Child, 1942) nature, being the product not of cells and organic evolution but of symbols and superorganic evolution, i.e., cultural evolution.  The relationships between such extrasomatic structures as primogeniture, stage of development of agricultural technology, forest harvesting practices, and religious institutions, within the structural and functional totality of any given culture, and without reference to the human individual who is after all of an organic nature, is the purview of anthropology, or more specifically, culturology. However, the  relationship between such extrasomatic structures or institutions and  the human individual with his innermost subjective hopes, fears, desires, and motivations is within the purview of sociology, or more specifically social psychology. The extended, patriarchal, or 'stem' family of Tocqueville's prose is, in the conception of early social psychologist  Charles Horton Cooley, a 'primary group', the sort of intimate group responsible for forming the very innermost nature and motivation of the human individual. 'Such groups are primary in several senses', wrote Cooley, 'but chiefly in that they are fundamental in forming the social nature and ideals of the individual. The result of intimate association, psychologically, is a certain fusion of  indvidualities in a common whole, so that one's very self, for many purposes at least, is the common life and purpose of the group...One lives in the feeling of the whole and finds the chief aims of his will in that feeling' (Cooley, 1909).  And so we discover in Tocqueville's description of  this most ancient institution at the foundation of feudalism that 'family feeling is incorporated with the estate', and one's very being, one's glory, virtue, and power, is intimately bonded with the land through all time, 'in an imperishable memorial of the past, and a sure pledge of  the future.'

     While Tocqueville was not a forester, nor Cooley, Franz Heske, Professor in the Forstliche Hochschule Tharandt Bei Dresden was, and long ago in 1938, after a visit to the United States where he witnissed first hand the rapacity of our forest exploitation, he tried to make clear to American foresters in his "German Forestry" the inextricable basis of German forestry, and what we would now term 'stewardship', in the sacred ties of the Gemeinschaft of the land:

     After the Germans, through the toil of many generations, had converted the forests and swamps between the Alps and
     the North Sea into fruitful acres and permanent settlements, and had defended this homeland in countless battles, then
this land was for them far more than a mere object of utility or even "capital".  It became sacred ground, the bedrock
     of Germany's fate, part of the national organism, the foundation of the lives of those who were, those who are, and
     those who are to come.  Such land may indeed be cultivated and used by the individual, but it may never become the
     object of arbitrary action by an individual.  The whole race conquered it; the whole race defended it with its life blood;
     and the whole race stood back of the peasant and enabled him to till the soil in peace.  The peasant, on the other hand,
     for many generations has cultivated the soil for the race; he has cultivated the soil of the race.

     From this grew the legal concept that land ownership is a fief which signifies a duty rather than a right; it is less a claim
     than a responsibility--a responsibility toward the nation or the family to guard the land and protect it from harm, to
    defend it with one's life, to found and bring up a family, and in every way to be a sturdy member of the race.  From this
     view it also followed that the land does  not belong to the individual to do with as he pleases, but that he must treat it as
     the sacred foundation of the lives of the entire family.  The head of the family is indeed currently responsible for fulfilling
     the obligations involved in land ownership, but he may not alienate it at will as if it were his personal property and thereby
     loose his sons and grandsons from the sod and release them from the eternal obligations of their class. 

     This conviction and this legal concept became firmly rooted in the peasant class.  Every time that a peasant completed
     his life's tasks and died, it was understood as a matter of course by his sons and daughters that the estate was an
indivisible whole; that it belonged to one alone--either to the oldest or, where ultimogeniture prevailed, to the youngest. 
     Even though there may have been quarrels and disputes about other legacies, one thing was sure: the house and yard, the
     tillable fields, the meadow and woods, the horse and cow, the plows and harrow, all must go to the heir, so that as a
     whole it would enable him to fulfill his task, which is the life-foundation of the peasant race.  All  others had to give way
     to the heir.  This was the old Germanic legal concept, arising from a deep seated understanding of the necessities of a life
     and a stable culture founded on the soil, and from old tradition concerning the essential basis for permanent existence of
race and state (Heske 1938).

     This passage from Heske introduces us to a cultural and linguistic world virtually unintelligible to Americans, a world where individuals were only conscious of themselves, in the most subjective sense, as members of traditional primary groups such as extended family, where individuals yielded to the higher authorities of God's will, church elders, community, and tradition. Heske's use of the term 'sacred ground' in the first paragraph alludes both to the sacred ties of the gemeinschaft of the land, and to the religious origin of the institution of private property, which concept entered the European literature through the work of French historian Fustel De Coulanges, and his famous student, sociologist Emile Durkheim.  Heske's use of the term 'national organism' alludes to the philosophical organicism that developed in the early nineteenth century Germany of 'die Aufklarung' through the influence of such men as Herder, Goethe, and Hegel.  Organicism as a philosophical doctrine can only be understood in contradistinction to the atomism and analytical individualism of Enlightenment philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke, which the Germans unequivocally rejected on all possible grounds.  And his phrase '...the foundation of the lives of those who were, those who are, and those who are to come' is, of course, directly traceable to famous English arch-conservative Edmund Burke, who also stressed the sacred roots of community and violently rejected the  philosophical nominalism and social atomism of the Natural Law theory of society upon which eighteenth and nineteenth century social philosophy was based. 

     In the 'atomistic' conception of society of Enlightenment thinkers Hobbes and Locke, the conception of classic liberalism, society is viewed as a largely nominal construction, in the words of Jeremy Bentham, as being '...a fictitious body, composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting as it were its members' (Bentham, 1823). In other words, society, i.e., the whole, doesn't really exist.  All that exists are individuals, i.e., parts.  In the medieval conception of society, the view of medieval Christendom with its 'Great Chain of Being', and the 'Doctrine of the Two Swords', the point of departure was the group itself, which was accorded metaphysical primacy. 'All who are included in a community,' writes Saint Thomas Aquinas, 'stand in relation to that community as parts to the whole' (Nisbet, 1953). Or, from Otto Von Gierke, eminent scholar of Old Germanic Law, we learn that 'Medieval thought proceeded from the idea of a single whole.  Therefore an organic construction of Human Society was as familiar to it as a mechanical and atomistic construction was originally alien' (Gierke, 1958).  The atomization of the medieval community dominated by such institutions as the patriarchal family, gild, monastery, and villiage community can be followed on many fronts - religious, political, economic, and is marked by the sequence Renaissance, Reformation, Revolution.  From this atomization emerged all the key terms not only of modern political science, but of the present increasingly heated forest policy debate: the individual, individual rights, and the omnipotent national political state.

     To just very briefly trace these developments, that is, the emergence of the individual embued with individual rights from the ancient confines of patriarchal family, gild, heirarchal church, and medieval commune, we can start with the Protestant Reformation in the early sixteenth century.  The immediate effect of this upheaval was to seperate the individual from the communal aspects of the church visible, i.e., sacrament, liturgy, and hierarchical church organization, and to place him in a context where only himself, divine grace, and an omnipotent and distant God remained.  About a hundred  years later in the seventeenth century, at about the time Rene Descartes, in casting about for some uncontestably true bit of knowledge, deduced that he alone in his own isolated self surely existed, his contemporary across the English Channel Thomas Hobbes deduced that humans originally existed in a 'State of Nature' where there was no social organization, and where isolated individuals interacted 'catch as catch can'; a rather dismal 'State of War' of man against man, in Hobbes famous words: ' letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short' (Hobbes, 1651).

     Hobbes then deduced how unaided individual human reason would soon show man the benifit of submitting to a strong authority able to keep the peace, and in this way allow for the development of 'civil society'. Later accretions to Social Contract theory by Locke and Rousseau allowed for other than the absolute monarchy favored by Hobbes, but the essential point of the whole edifice was the creation of a political environment of total individualism protected by centralized and absolute political power, in which individuals interacted impersonally in terms of contract, i.e., as in our earlier discussion, where gesellschaft predominates. 'In Hobbes system of thought', writes sociologist and institutional historian Robert Nisbet, 'everything proceeds from atomistic individuals, their instincts and reason, and from contractual agreements among them' (Nisbet, 1953). In a very real sense, Hobbes' revolutionary simplification of political reality into abstract individuals, contract, and the power of the state, was simply the political reflection of the Protestant Reformation in which the lone individual, Divine Grace, and an omnipotent and distant God held center stage.  The development of capitalism was the final step which ushered in modernity, as the isolated individual was absorbed into the free market, a kind of 'state of war' where individuals rationally persue private interests through impersonal contract with the expectation of personal gain.

     The new society forged by the industrial Revolution was structurally, or, in other words, institutionally, distinct from all that had gone before.  The increased flux of energy through the human cultural system split the family/property molecule of medieval society which we have characterized after Tonnies as 'gemeinschaft'. What was now needed for the new social order based on capitalist production was not families attached to the land in the idyllic manner of late feudalism or present day Amish and Mennonite society (Hostetler, 1963), but individuals capable of rationally persuing private interests in an impersonal legal environment secured by centralized political power.  Man had to be made to fit the machine.  In terms of the land itself, rather than it being the basis of a self sustaining local community, it had to become an article of capitalistic commerce just as were trucks, factories, and machinery.  In a term widely used in France at the time, it had to become 'mobilized' (LePlay, 1982). In terms of the family, rather than it being a fixed, stable, institutional system providing the context of the individual's marriage, occupation, welfare, and morality, it became a temporary set of interpersonal relations. 

     The Great Transformation wrought by the Industrial Revolution was not to be stopped. Not by Burke's fiery rhetoric which was only quieted by his death in 1797, nor even by the great institutional inertia of thousand year old medieval culture. And the basic institutional structures of feudalism such as corporate religion, fellowship, guild, the extended family molecule, entailed family property, the local community; the basic and apparently inseparable institutional context of forestry as it developed in Europe, would inexorably be shattered and ground to the 'unconnected chaos of elementary particles' (Edmund Burke, as quoted by Robert Nisbet, 1986) of their constituent 'atom' individuals by the newly unleased forces of technology as symbolized by the machine.  At the heart of this dynamo of change that would destroy the immemorial order of the 'ancien regime' were the new land laws regarding inheritance, 'the equal partibility of property', which Tocqueville presiently realized exercises an 'incredible influence upon the social state of a people...affecting, as it were, generations yet unborn.' He expressed surprise that ancient and modern writers had not attributed greater influence to these laws, but up until Tocqueville's time, they were simply an accepted part of the natural order, and as such not even subject to reflection.  According to Nisbet, in ancient times, for example in the early Greek and Roman societies, an individual right to sell or will property was not so much repudiated as simply unknown, and therefore unimaginable (Nisbet, 1986). Tocqueville characteristically likened these new inheritance laws to a machine that, '...once put in motion will go on  for ages, and advance, as if self guided, towards a point indicated beforehand.  When framed in a particular manner, this law unites, draws together and vests property and power in a few hands; it causes an aristocracy, so to speak, to spring out of the ground. If formed on opposite principals, its action is still more rapid; it divides and distributes, and disperses both property and power...'.  As these new laws inexorably worked their way upon the culture of his beloved France, '...over throwing the walls of our dwellings, and removing the landmarks of our fields', he noted that '...sometimes people get frightened at the speed of its progress; dispairing of stopping its motion, men seek at least to put obstacles and difficulties in its way; there is an attempt to balance its action by measures of opposite tendency.  But all in vain!  It grinds up or smashes everything that stands in its way; with the continual rise and fall of its hammer strokes, everything is reduced to a fine, impalpable dust...' (Tocqueville, 1966), and it is out of that dust that atomic forestry would be born.

     As the social forces wrought by the Industrial Revolution  progressed through the latter nineteenth century Germany where stable land tenure through entailed family property, stewardship, and forestry were well established and long standing cultural realities, a bitter debate ensued within the German forestry community as to whether the new 'Natural Law' theory of society could constitute the basis for a stable German forest policy.  It was of course in this 'age of liberal capitalism' (Heske, 1938) that the 'soil expectation value' and 'forest rent' concepts were developed by German forest economists but, as described by Heske, these theories were never applied in the woods, and the German experience with 'laissez faire' capitalism as applied to forest properties was on the whole bad. 'This manner of thought,' writes Heske, '...was the enemy of all organically developed and stable forms of living. It tried to break these down into their component atoms with the slogan of laissez faire, in order to create arbitrarily from these atoms, by means of purely intellectual arrangements, artificial structures which were to take the place of the natural organisms' (Heske, 1938).

     While forestry generally and silviculture specifically are applied technologies resting on the scientific foundation of natural science, nonindustrial private forest policy in the United States, which relies on individual motivation to enlightened self interest, is totally grounded in political ideology. All ideologies or 'isms', whether capitalism, marxism, liberalism, or otherwise, are 'world views', i.e., 'culturally organized macrothought: those dynamically interrelated basic cognitive assumptions of a people that determine much of their behavior and decision making, as well as organizing much of their body of symbolic creations - myth, religion, cosmology - and ethnophilosophy in general' (Kearney, 1984).  Less ponderously, a culture with its dominant 'ism' is very much like the cave of Plato's famous "Allegory of the Cave", where actual realities remain invisible, or at best obscure, and individuals within the cave of darkness argue over 'shadows' cast on the wall of the cave.  Out of these shadows of actual reality, mediated by perception and language, a culture generates its own 'myth' which not only explains its own reality, but interprets the realities and histories of other cultures in terms of its own.  George Orwell's "1984" starkly depicted this process whereby all modern political regimes - whether communist or  democratic matters little, continually reinvent themselves through the political rewriting of actual history.  That is the situation that occurred early in this century when forestry was imported into this country from Europe.

     As our political regime reinvented European history prior to our own history in general as being a story of individual bondage and tyrany to despotic kings and totalitarian dictators, early American foresters reinvented forestry's history in Europe as being the result of despotic rule and over regulation in an authoritarian 'Prussian style' police state.  According to the prevailing ideology of liberalism which dominated non-German speaking Europe, England, and the United States during this era, society could be derived from the inate potencies of abstract man as considered apart from social organization, or even before social organization according to Hobbesian/Lockeian 'state of nature' and 'natural law' teachings.  In terms of forestry in particular and its application to nonindustrial private forest lands, the founders of forestry in this country were satisfied of the worth of forestry's aims, goals, and techniques, which they felt to be of such compelling value that individuals would adopt them for their own through some sort of agricultural technology transfer. This would occur as a matter of simple civic responsibility and/or enlightened self interest.  As the reasoning went, reasoning which all American foresters have been indoctrinated with, Germany developed its forestry through regulation due to the propensity of that nation to authoritarinism; America, due to its love of freedom, would accomplish its forestry through individual freedom, civic responsibility, agricultural extension transfer, enlightened self interest and a free market.  In other words, forestry was thought to be ultimately resolvable to the terms of individual motivation. In the following quote from institutional historian and sociologist Robert Nesbit's "Quest fore Community", he describes this fundamental error of classic liberalism, an error which involves the attempt to derive society and its attributes from the inate potentialities of the individual:

     When the basic principals of modern liberalism were being formulated by such men as Locke, Montesquieu, Adam Smith,
     and Jefferson, the image of man luminous in the philosophical mind was an image constructed out of such traits as soverign
     reason, stability, security, and indestructible motivations toward freedom and order. Man, abstract man, was deemed to be
     inherently self-sufficing, equiped by nature with both the instincts and the reason that could make him autonomous.What we
     can now see with the advantage of hindsight is that, unconsciously, the founders of liberalism abstracted certain moral and
     psychological attributes from a social organization and considered these the timeless, natural, qualities of the individual, who
     was regarded as independent of the influences of any historical social organization. Those qualities that, in their entirety,
     composed the eighteenth-century liberal image of man were qualities actually inhering to a large extent in a set of institutions
     and groups, all of which were aspects of historical tradition. But with the model of Newtonian mechanics before them, the
     moral philosophers insisted on reducing everything to human atoms in motion, to natural individuals driven by impulses and
     reason deemed to be inate in man  (Nisbet, 1953).

     To repeat, nonindustrial private forest policy in the United States is based on a political world view, classic liberalism, which itself is based on certain metaphysical and epistomological assumptions about the nature of man and society which sociology, since its inception, has found to be untenable.  This century has been for forestry a grand cultural experiment of these two different views of human nature. On the one hand we have the empirical/scientific view of man, and on the other we have the rationalist/liberal view stemming from political ideology.  According to the empirical/scientific view, man exists within social systems, i.e., he/she is 'in' them.  Since the direction of causation in any systematically organized whole is downward, i.e., from whole to part, individuals are seen from the standpoint of systems theory as applied to human cultural systems as being the neuralolgic/physiologic locus through which extrasomatic cultural forces express themselves.   Nineteenth century institutionally medieval Germany was comprised of social institutions such as entailed family property, and other historically developed 'intermediate' social associations, of which sustained yield forestry was but one concrete manifestation.  As an epiphenomenal manifestation of these social structures, individuals located within structure experienced subjective feelings regarding the land that we call a stewardship ethic.  However, these subjective feelings were not, in themselves, causally efficacious in motivating individual actors to perform socially motivated forestry activities.  As Emile Durkheim wrote in warning long ago in 1893 at the founding of sociology, 'Every time that a social phenomenon is directly explained by a psychological phenomenon, we may be sure that the explanation is false' (Durkheim, as quoted by White, 1949). Rather, the institutional structure existed, the individuals performed the activities, and the subjective feelings which we call a land ethic were associated with the structures and the performing of the forestry activities, and were not, in themselves, causally efficacious.

     According to the empirical/scientific view of man one would predict that forestry, being eminently an affair of institutional structure, could not occur in a country such as the United States which lacks the necessary institutional structures related to land tenure.  According to Tonnies' Gesellschaft, which is an idealization of social reality, one would predict that individuals owning forest land would enter into contracts where the parties were only two - the buyer and seller, and that the parties would consider only their own individual gain and interestsin their calculations before entering into the contract.  According to the very logic of the ideal type of gesellschaft, society itself is mearly a nominalistic abstraction, comprised of nothing more than innumerable contracts such as that between the buyer and seller of timber mentioned above, and, in terms of any effects such a contract for the sale of timber would have on 'society', or future generations, they would simply be third parties to the contract.  Should it be pointed out that individuals may calculate their own best interests and not consider the interests of society at large, or posterity, according to the rigorous logic of gesellschaft, unless these latter groups are contractually related to our self seeking individual in some way, then no obligations exist.  Stated otherwise, this is the basic American belief that private greed makes for public virtue through the mysterious alchemy of Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand'.  At its most fundamental level, this idea is the very antithesis of all that forestry ever represented, in that the technical techniques themselves, as well as the profession that plies them, were founded in the needs of community survival, not individual aggrandizement.

     For about three generations of American foresters now we have been conducting this grand cultral experiment, this attempt to derive forestry, an eminently social affair, from the inate drives, motivations and instincts of the individual, and what have we accomplished?  In 1991, President of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association Patrick Lantz decries in his Fall editorial in  "Pnnsylvania Forests" the 'wood butchering' so common and highly visible as one drives the highways and byways of rural Pennsylvania.  In 1992 Professor Nyland describes the "Second Great Exploitation of Eastern Hardwood Forests".  Other reports indicate that exploitation, in this supposed era of environmental enlightenment, is getting worse, not better.  Of course, all this is totally befuddling to foresters, whose only lame response when confronted with the reality and forced to face it is that mone money is needed for extension programs that never have worked. 

     A culture's myths, or, more ponderously from Kearney - 'its basic cognitive assumptions,' which is what the tennets of liberalism are for Americans, change very slowly.  And this is as it should be, as such fundamental assumptions about the way the world 'is' are the glue that holds a society together.  But at some point the very same conditions that generated forestry in Germany, i.e., community survival, may become operative in the United States, not on a community level so much as on a state or national level, as the loss of the wood products industry may not be something that our states can afford to happen. The problem for the forestry profession is to attempt to discover some sort of institutional mechanism by which proper stewardship of land can occur within a social type such as our own, a social type which we have defined as 'gesellschaft'. And any attempt to base stewardship on individual motivation, restraint, or good will is bound to fail in the rarefied moral atmosphere of gesellschaft, as these subjective phenomenon are themselves associated with a type of social organization, 'gemeinschaft', which simply does not exist anymore, except perhaps in Old Order Mennonite and Amish communities, where, as an aside, land is still transmitted as a common practice to one heir (E.S. Martin, 1993).  As a final note, the present Forest Stewardship Program does not meet this requirement, as it is simply a reiteration of past extension programs that are grounded in the metaphysical and sociological quicksand that has become American private nonindustrial forestry.

                         Literature Cited

Benthem, J. 1823. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Leglislation.
Childe, V.G. 1942. What Happened in History.
Cooley, C.H. 1909. Social Organization.
Gierke, O. 1958. Political Theories of the Middle Age (translated with an introduction by Frederic William Maitland)
Heske, F. 1938. German Forestry. P. 231-232.
Hobbes, T. 1651. Leviathan.
Hostetler, J.A. 1963 Amish Society
Kearney, 1982. World View
Kroeber, A. L. 1917. The Superorganic. American Anthropologist (vol.19, 1917)
Lantz, P. 1991. Pennsylvania Forests. Fall
LePlay, F. 1982. On Family, Work, and Social Change (Edited, translated, and with an Introduction by Catherine Bodard Silver).
Martin, E.S. 1993. Personal communication with former member of Old Order Mennonite Church in Snyder County Pennsylvania
Nisbet, R.A. 1953. The Quest for Community.
Nisbet, R.A. 1986. Conservatism
Nyland, R 1992. Exploitation and Greed in Eastern Hardwood Forests. J. For. 92(1):33-37.
Tonnies, F 1957. Community and Society (Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft) (trans. and ed. by Charles P. Loomis).
Tocqueville, A de 1966. Democracy in America. (translated by George        Lawrence).
Tocqueville, A de 1898. Democracy in America. (translated by Henry         Reeve).
White, L.A. 1946. The Science of Culture.

Origins of Private Property in Man's Early Religions

     The latter nineteenth century was a time of tremendous schlorship in the Greek and Latin antiquities, and foremost in this field was  Fustel De Coulanges of France, who published  "The Ancient City" in 1873.  With him we must tranmsport ourselves in thought to those ancient ages of the Indo-European race, 'beyond the time of which history has preserved the recollection', when there were not yet Greeks, not yet Italians, not yet Hindus, but when the ancestors of these later peoples lived together in central Asia.  It is there in that 'distant and dim epoch' that we find the origin of private property as a cultural institution.  

     The first religion of these newly sedentary peoples at this early stage of agriculture involved the worship of the dead, who were presumed to live underground in their second existence, as oposed to the more recent religious belief of the
christian era in a celestial after life.  It was believed that these spirits of deceased family members required drink and sustenance in their second life underground, and all manner of early worship and periodic rite was directed to the spirits of deceased family members.  The most important rite was the rite of burial, and among the ancients the greatest punishment that could be inflicted on a man was the privation of burial, for then the soul itself would be punished; to roam forever in a constant state of hunger, deprived of periodic food and drink by respectful descendents.  The story has come down to us from ancient Greece of Athenian generals being put to death after returning from a successful naval battle without taking the time to collect the dead at sea, due to the encroachment of a storm that would have endangered the fleet.  According to Coulanges, "By their victory they had saved Athens; but by their impiety they had lost thousands of souls".  This story shows us that even at this late date, this ancient institution was still strong in the minds of these people.

     Intimately associated with this ancient ancestor worship was the 'sacred fire'.   In Coulanges words, "In the house of every Greek and Roman was an altar; on this altar there had always to be a small quantity of ashes, and a few lighted coals.  It was a sacred obligation for the master of every house to keep the fire up night and day.  Woe to the house where it was extinguished.  Every evening they covered the coals with ashes to prevent them from being entirely consumed.  In the morning the first care was to revive this fire with a few twigs.  The fire ceased to glow upon this altar only when the entire family had perished; an extinguished hearth, an extinguished family, were synonymous expressions among the ancients".  In the thought of these ancient generations, the sacred fire eventually became personafied in the form of a god - a god who symbolized the ancient generations of the family, and who became known as Vesta in both the Greek and Latin languages.  

     As befitting this early stage of cultural evolution, these early gods were not the gods of mankind, or of a society, or even of a locale or tribe; they belonged strictly to a family: "Thus religion dwelt not in temples, but in the house; each house had its gods; each god protected one family only, and was god only in one house".  Coulanges further describes the propagation of this religion by the process of human generation: "The father in giving life to his son, gave him at the same time his creed, his worship, the right to continue the sacred fire, to offer the funeral meal, to pronounce the formulas of prayer.  Generation established a mysterious bond between the infant, who was born to life, and all the gods of the family.  Indeed, these gods were his family...they were of his blood....The child therefore, received at his birth the right to adore them, and to offer them sacrifices; and later, when death should have deified him, he also would be counted, in his turn, among these gods of the family".  
     This family religion was the source from which flowed the life of the family: "... we find in each house an altar, and around this altar the family assembled.  The family meets every morning to address its first prayers to the sacred fire, and in the evening to invoke it for a last time...Outside the house, near at hand, in a neighboring field, there is a tomb--the second home of this family.  There several generations of ancestors repose together; death has not seperated them.  They remain grouped in this second existence, and continue to form an indissoluble family."  In these ancient ages celabacy was forbidden, as, lacking male offspring, the ancestors would then have no one to offer them libations and prayer, which they needed for a happy second life underground: " did not belong to himself; he belonged to the family.  He was one member of a series, and the series must not stop with him.  He was not born by chance; he had been introduced into life that he might continue a worship; he must not give up life until he is sure that this worship will be continued after him....  The greatest misfortune that its piety had to fear, was that its line of descendants might cease and come to an end; for then its religion would disappear from the earth, its fire would be extinguished, and the whole series of its dead would fall into oblivion and eternal misery.  The great interest of human life was to continue the descent, in order to continue the worship."

     It is at this point that Coulanges tells us of the extent to which the cultural institution of private property was embedded within this early religion of the sacred fire and the domestic worship: "There are three things which, from the most ancient times, we find founded and solidly established in these Greek and Italian societies: the domestic religion; the family; and the right of property--three things which had in the beginning a manifest relation, and which appear to have been inseperatable.  The idea of private property existed in the religion itself.  Every family had its hearth and its ancestors...They were its property."

     "Now, between these gods and the soil, men of the early ages saw a mysterious relation.  Let us first take the hearth.  This altar is the symbol of a sedentary life; its name indicates this.  It must be placed upon the ground; once established, it cannot be moved.  The god of the family wishes to have a fixed abode...When they establish the hearth, it is with the thought and hope that it will always remain in the same spot.  The god is installed there not for a day, not for the life of one man mearly, but for as long a time as this family shall endure, and there remains anyone to support its fire by sacrifices.  Thus the sacred fire takes posession of the soil, and makes it its own.  It is the gods property.

     "And the family, which through duty and religion remains grouped around its altar, is as much fixed to the soil as the altar itself.  The idea of domicile follows naturally.  The family is attached to the altar, the altar is attached to the soil; an intimate relation, therefore, is established between the soil and the family...Like the hearth, it will always occupy this spot. This spot belongs to it, is its property, the property not simply of a man, but of a family, whose different members must, one after another, be born and die here....Here, therefore, was a portion of the soil which, in the name of religion, became an object of perpetual property for each family.  The family appropriated to itself this soil by placing its dead here; it was established here for all time.  The living scion of this family could rightly say, This land is mine.  It was so completly his, that it was inseperatable from him, and he had not the right to dispose of it.  The soil where the dead rested was inalienable and imprescriptible...The tomb had established an indissoluble union of the family with the land--that of ownership.

     Land ownership is only possible if boundaries exist, and Coulanges tells
us of the manner by which ownership was declared through religious ritual:
"Every domain was under the eyes of household divinities, who watched over it.  
Every field had to be an enclosure, which seperated it completely
from the domains of other families.  This enclosure was not a wall of stone; it
was a band of soil, a few feet wide, which remains uncultivated, and which the
plow could never touch.  This space was sacred; the Roman law declared it
indefeasible; it belonged to the religion.  On certain appointed days of each
month and year, the father of the family went round his field, following this
line; he drove victims before him, sang hymns, and offered sacrifices.  By this
ceremony he believed he had awakened the benevolence of his gods towards his
field and his house; above all, he had marked his right of property by
proceeding round his field with his domestic worship.  The path which the
victims and prayers had followed was the inviolable limit of the domain."

     So great is the religious sentiment within all men that in these ancient
times even the process of establishing and maintaining property corners fell
under the sway of religion.  Coulanges quotes from Siculus Flaccus concerning
the personification of boundary stones as gods - the god Termini, which were
installed as follows: "They commenced by digging a small hole, and placing the
Terminus upright near it; next they crowned the Terminus with garlands of grasses
and flowers; then they offered a saxrifice.  The victim being immolated, they
made the blood flow into the hole; they threw in live coals (kindled probably
-according to Coulanges- at the sacred fire of the hearth), grain, cakes,
fruits, a little wine, and some honey.  When all this was consumed in the
hole, they thrust down the stone or piece of wood upon the ashes while they
were still warm."  This rite makes clear how the domestic worship and the
sacred fire was intimately bound up with the origin of private property at
this early stage of human civilization when man was beginning to cultivate
the soil.

     So total was the bond between the land and the family that it was not even
possible until a very late date in the development of ancient civilization to
will or sell land.  In Plato's "Laws", he supposes that a man on his deathbed
implores the gods to allow him to dispose of his land as he chooses by will,
"O gods, is it not very hard that I am not able to dispose of my property as I
may choose, and in favor of anyone to whom I please to give it, leaving more to
this one, less to that one, according to the attachments they have shown for me?"  
But the leglislator replies to this man according to ancient law, "Thou who canst
not promise thyself a single day, thou who art only a pilgrim here below, does
it belong to thee to decide such affairs?  Thou art the master neither of thy
property nor of thyself: thou and thy estate, all these things, belong to thy
family; that is to say, to thy ancestors and to thy posterity."  We can see
then that the ancient concept of private property gives new meaning to the term
'private'.  As Coulanges tells us "... a tie stronger than the will of man binds
the land to him. Besides, this field where the tomb is situated, where the divine
ancestors live, where the family is to forever perform its worship, is not simply
the property of a man, but of a family.  It is not the individual actually living
who has established his right over this soil, it is the domestic god.  The
individual has it in trust only; it belongs to those who are dead, and to those
who are yet to be born.  It is a part of the body of this family, and cannot be
seperated from it.  To detach one from the other is to alter a worship, and to
offend a religion."

     Finally, in our discussion of the origin of private property, we now come to
an ancient institution of singular importance to an understanding of man's use of
forest land and the practice of land stewardship, and that is the institution of
primogeniture.  One may wonder how these ancients were able to maintain their
properties intact in the face of the fragmentation that would result if two or
several sons were to inherit one property.  At this early date in the history of
civilization, the problem of the fragmentation of property through inheritance -
something that foresters should be familiar with, was solved in the most simple
way: the entire patrimony went to the eldest son.  From Coulanges again, "The old
religion established a difference between the older and the younger son.  'The
oldest,' said the ancient Aryas, 'was begotten for the accomplishment of the duty
due the ancestors; the others are the fruit of love.'  According to the Laws of
Manu, 'The oldest takes posession of the whole patrimony, and the other brothers
live under his authority as if they were under that of their father.  The oldest
son performs the duties towards the ancestors; he ought therefore, to have all.'  

     This institution of primogeniture outlived the desintegration of the Roman
Empire in the fifth century of our era, and formed the constituent basis for
aristocratic rule and midieval feudalism in Western Europe.  To further study
this institution we will now move on to another Frenchman, an aristocrat of the
most noble lineage, who came to Jacksonian America in 1831 at the age of
twentynine to study the workings of democracy in our land.  His name is Alexis
De Tocqueville, and his noble book, "Democracy in America", has become one of
the classics of political science.  The book is actually much more than the name
indicates, and in fact passes as an anthropological study of early America
conducted at a time before anthropology as an academic discipline even existed.  
He did not write this book for us; we were essentially the 'bug in a jar'; and
we will next examine some of his comments from the chapter entitled "Social
Conditions of the Anglo-Americans.  In the  following account DeTocqueville
discusses the rapid circulation and dismemberment of property in America as
opposed to the conditions of his native France, where, up until his time
primogeniture was practiced:

     Among nations whose law of descent is founded upon the right
     of primogeniture, landed estates often pass from generation
     to generation without undergoing division,--the consequence
     of which is, that family feeling is to a certain degree                
     incorporated with the estate.  The family represents the
     estate, the estate the family,--whose name, together with
     its origin, its glory, its power, and its virtues, is thus             
     perpetuated in an imperishable memorial of the past, and a
     sure pledge of the future.

     When the equal partition of property is established by law,
     the intimate connection is destroyed between family feeling
     and the preservation of the paternal estate; the property
     ceases to represent the family; for, as it must inevitably
     be divided after one or two generations, it has evidently a            
     constant tendency to diminish, and must in the end be
     completely dispersed.  The sons of the great landed
     proprietor, if they are few in number, or if fortune
     befriends them, may indeed entertain the hope of being as
     wealthy as their father, but not of posessing the same
     property that he did; their riches must be composed of
     other elements than his.  Now, as soon as you divest the               
     landowner in that interest in the preservation of his
     estate which he derives from association, from tradition,
     and from family pride, you may be certain that, sooner or
     later, he will dispose of it; for their is a strong
     pecuniary interest in favorof selling, as floating capitol             
     produces higher interest than real property, and is more
     readily available to gratify the passions of the moment.

     We see in Tocqueville's prose an accounting for a very moving and
beautiful sentiment, i.e., love for one's birth place, for the land from which
springs one's 'glory', 'virtue', and 'power'; and this subjective sentiment,
he clearly related to a unique culture trait, the institution of primogeniture,
that existed within the cultural matrix of feudalism in western Europe.  We see
here a way of accounting for the sort of subjective feelings that might be said
to evidence posession of a land ethic, without having to resort to
trancendentalism, modes of evolving consciouness, or any other unfortunate
fabrication of a mystical, mentalistic, or pantheistic nature to which many
writer's on this topic turn when attempting to describe that frame of mind
which we now apparently lack but to which we should aspire in our dealings
with land. 

Emile Durkheim

     Add Durkheim content here.

Hardcore Computer Programming Using The Windows Application Programming Interface (API)

This program uses SDK style to create one main window.  The program only contains two procedures
but makes calls to 13 Win Api functions.  The program's entry point is of course WinMain(), and
most of WinMain() is concerned with filling out a WndClassEx TYPE (note 1st local var in WinMain().
The fields of this WndClassEx TYPE define a Window Class from which specific instances of program
windows/forms may be created.  This is very important.  To learn about this you could get Charles
Petzold's book on Windows and/or visit MSDN at and search for WndClassEx.  Here is a

After the class has been registered with the call to RegisterClassEx(), a specific instance of the
class is created/instantiated through a call to CreateWindow().  This call creates a window (Form)
of the registered class with specific height, width, screen location, caption, etc.  You should
search the MSDN or Api reference that came with your PowerBasic compiler for CreateWindow().

Note that whether one or a thousand instances of the registered class are created by this or
successive CreateWindow() calls, each will have a unique window handle, but all messages to this
or any of these windows will be passed to WndProc(), as seen below.  Why? Because, while much of the
code in WinMain() is indeed boilerplate, several of the fields are especially important.  The third
field in the WndClassEx TYPE below, lpfnWndProc, requires the address of the procedure Windows will
call when any user generated or internal event occurs that pertains to this window.  PowerBasic
translates this address to the WndClassEx TYPE through its Codeptr() function.  The function
pointed to by the lpfnWndProc field, i.e., WndProc() here, is a 'Callback' function.
WndProc() contains an 'If' construct that only looks for one specific message - the WM_DESTROY
message. All other messages it passes to another Api function DefWindowProc().  This function
does default processing on messages the program is not interested in handling.  All this specific
program is interested in doing is being destroyed - at which time it will call PostQuitMessage().
This function will cause the program to drop out of the message processing loop in which it is
spinning back in WinMain() - the famous 'Message Pump'.  And now for the 1st program...

'Program Name Form1.bas
#Compile Exe
#Include ""        'Equates, declares, types translated from Windows.h
Global hMainWnd As Dword       'Window handle of main program window
Global szAppName As Asciiz*6   'Name of application as well as name of window class of main program window

Function WndProc(Byval hWnd As Long,Byval wMsg As Long,Byval wParam As Long,Byval lParam As Long) Export As Long
  If wMsg=%WM_DESTROY Then
     Call PostQuitMessage(0)
     Exit Function
  End If

End Function

Function WinMain(Byval hIns As Long, Byval hPrevIns As Long,Byval lpCmdLine As Asciiz PTR, Byval iShow As Long) As Long
  Local winclass As WndClassEx
  Local dwStyle As Dword
  Local Msg As tagMsg

  winclass.cbSize=Sizeof(winclass) Or %CS_VREDRAW
  winclass.hIcon=LoadIcon(%NULL,Byval %IDI_APPLICATION)
  winclass.hCursor=LoadCursor(%NULL,Byval %IDC_ARROW)
  winclass.hIconSm=LoadIcon(hIns,Byval %IDI_APPLICATION)
  dwStyle=%WS_OVERLAPPEDWINDOW  '1040384
  hMainWnd=CreateWindow(szAppName,"Form1",dwStyle,200,100,325,300,%HWND_DESKTOP,0,hIns,Byval 0)
  ShowWindow hMainWnd,iShow
  UpdateWindow hMainWnd
  While GetMessage(Msg,%NULL,0,0)
    TranslateMessage Msg
    DispatchMessage Msg

End Function