According to Ishmael, Who are the takers, What is mother culture, and who are the Leavers

Book: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

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The Takers are civilized people.

Mother Culture is a personified concept that Ishmael uses to explain how the Takers perpetually enact the story that claims man is the apex of evolution and rulers of the world. In Ishmael's construction, Mother Culture communicates this story through every cultural institution, including education, entertainment, and law.

Leavers are the hunter/gatherers.



Takers are 'civilized', and decendents of the agricultural revolution.

Leavers are "uncivilized", and tend to live outside of the agricultural lifestyle.

Mother culture tells the story of the takers; she speaks through education, entertainment, and law.


Quinn, Daniel "Ishmael." 1992