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"Advanced civilization" - the hunter gatherers

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posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 05:38 AM
How do you define it ?

* Their work week is short enough to make us drool in envy.
* They enjoy almost unbelievable egalitarianism
* The religious gasp at their high levels of sexual freedom, experimentation, and enjoyment.
* They're damn happy people, laughing freely way more than we do.
* Outside a division of labor, women have total social equality with men.
* They rarely resort to violence or war
* Strong social safety nets in most of their societies support the disabled, old, and in many cases, even the lazy.
* They usually live to be at least as old as we do
* Their health is more robust than ours, and they're frequently immune to diseases ravaging their sedentary neighbors.
* Their social lives are rich, and they have the free time to indulge themselves.
* With a few exceptions, their lifestyle lets them live in harmony with the earth, relying mostly on renewable resources, and keeping their numbers at a sustainable level.
* Their senses appear many times sharper than their own, and many seem curiously immune to extremes of temperature.
* Their strength often seems unbelievable.
* They intelligently use their time to create more productive environments that needs little care.

Hunter Gatherers And The Golden Age Of Man

That article provides sources and information about all of these "wonders". Please read. "Wonders" for us the real savages. Most people say "but they were killing each other". No. Inside one tribe they were much more civilized than we are. And outside they had "war" but not like our wars.

People are not "naturally evil". Look around. Don't know about you but when I was little I thought all grown-ups are friends. Why wouldn't they be ? Remember how at age 5, 6, 7 every other kid of the same age you meet was a potential friend. And if you had the chance you would play with him as if you knew him since forever. That's how I remember. Tribal life - the life among a group of friends is in our nature.
I do not say "let's go back in time". Not possible. Just change our foolish organization. Keep our science and knowledge of stuff - nothing wrong with it in itself.
Lots of people here talk about aliens. How do you imagine their organization ? Do you think there are "third world aliens" somewhere on some distant planet ? I don't. I think they act as a tribe, as a whole. Advanced far beyond selling stuff to each other and competing for food. Something like the first humans. Just my imagination...

But we deny this tribal nature and internalize our masters :
The Machine in our Heads--Glenn Parton

Almost universally, anthropologists remark on how ridiculously happy hunter gatherers seem to be. Laughter is far more common in their societies.

Of the !Kung: "Bursts of laughter accompany the conversations. Sometimes the !Kung laugh mildly with what we would call a sense of humor about people and events; often they shriek and howl as though laughter were an outlet for tension. They laugh at mishaps that happen to other people, like the lions eating up someone else's meat, and shriek over particularly telling and insulting sexual sallies...(15)".

Laurens van der Post expressed wonder at the exuberant San laugh, which rises "sheer from the stomach, a laugh you never hear among civilized people. (17)."

There's little wonder why. With no stressful work and plenty of time to socialize with friends and family, or engage in other pursuits they enjoy, what's not to be happy about?

And a movie for your entertainment :
YouTube - homeproject's Channel

[edit on 9-6-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:57 AM
Great info, Thank you! I recently quit a stressful 6-7 day per week job, and took one that pays less than half as much. I had to get rid of my truck, sell my house, trade the car for a cheaper one, cancel cable, and downgrade the cell phone plans to make it work.

I am immensely happier now!

I BBQ on the weekends, my friends and family come over almost every Sunday. I spend the evenings playing with my 1 and 2 year old. My wife and I have started riding bikes and hiking. I sleep better at night. There is much more late night 'play' after the kids are in bed. The list goes on and on.

Why do we work harder and longer to consume more stuff that we don't have time to enjoy!?!?!?!?!?

I barely miss my cable at all, but I used to long for time with the kids. A smaller house means less maintenance = more time with family. A motorcycle instead of truck = less maintenance, insurance, gas, etc., and nice rides with my buddies. Less cell phone = more face time with people around me. WE ALL MAKE SACRIFICES, MAKE SURE YOU ARE MAKING THE CORRECT ONES!

The one certainty in life is that it will eventually end! With that foreknowledge, we should strive to enjoy every second, connect with every person, say I Love You as often as possible. Make sure that when you are taking that last breath, you are not regretting your wasted years, but smiling as your life passes before your eyes!

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 07:10 AM
Strange how our modern idea of civilization is more barbaric than neanderthal man's. Living with the earth and appreciating its bounty, respecting its energy and ability to provide is mostly lost in 2009.

Slowly but surely civilization is coming back to its wisdom. Wisdom that allows Earth, her creatures and civilization to live in harmony and balance. (Just as the dragonfly crop circle indicates on another thread.)

Read Clan of the Cave Bear. You will learn by reading that book how early man structured civilization, how mother earth was the "God" of the times and how animal totem spirits were thought to guide individuals to wisdom over 10,000 years ago.

Getreadyalready has the right idea. Proud of you man!

Great post OP! Star and Flag. ♥

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:07 PM
Daniel Quinn - Ishmael (English) - Fiction, Books, and Daniel

The Story of B, by Daniel Quinn

Daniel Quinn - My Ishmael

Zerzan - Against Civilization - Readings and Reflections (1999)

Howard Zinn - a People's History of United States - 1492-Present

The Machine in our Heads--Glenn Parton

Alone in a Crowd

Online Reader - Project Gutenberg

Observing a prisoner exchange between the Iroquois and the French in upper New York in 1699, Cadwallader Colden is blunt: “ notwithstanding the French Commissioners took all the Pains possible to carry Home the French, that were Prisoners with the Five Nations, and they had full Liberty from the Indians, few of them could be persuaded to return. “Nor, he has to admit, is this merely a reflection on the quality of French colonial life, “for the English had as much Difficulty” in persuading their redeemed to come home, despite what Colden would claim were the obvious superiority of English ways:

No Arguments, no Intreaties, nor Tears of their Friends and Relations, could persuade many of them to leave their new Indian Friends and Acquaintance; several of them that were by the Caressings of their Relations persuaded to come Home, in a little Time grew tired of our Manner of living, and run away again to the Indians, and ended their Days with them. On the other Hand, Indian Children have been carefully educated among the English, cloathed and taught, yet, I think, there is not one Instance, that any of these, after they had Liberty to go among their own People, and were come to Age, would remain with the English, but returned to their own Nations, and became as fond of the Indian Manner of Life as those that knew nothing of a civilized Manner of Living. And, he concludes, what he says of this particular prisoner exchange “has been found true on many other Occasions.”

Benjamin Franklin was even more pointed: When an Indian child is raised in white civilization, he remarks, the civilizing somehow does not stick, and at the first opportunity he will go back to his red relations, from whence there is no hope whatever of redeeming him. But when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and have lived a while among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness toprevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the firstgood Opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.

There was always the great woods, and the life to be lived within it was, Crevecoeur admits, “singularly captivating,” perhaps even superior to that so boasted of by the transplanted Europeans. For, as many knew to their rueful amazement, “thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those aborigines having from choice become Europeans!”

[I] "A People's History of the United States" [/I]

The managers of Gulag's islands tell us that the swimmers, crawlers, walkers and fliers spent their lives working in order to eat.

These managers are broadcasting their news too soon. The varied beings haven't all been exterminated yet. You, reader, have only to mingle with them, or just watch them from a distance, to see that their waking lives are filled with dances, games and feasts. Even the hunt, the stalking and feigning and leaping, is not what we call Work, but what we call Fun.
The only beings who work are the inmates of Gulag's islands, the zeks. The zeks ancestors did less work than a corporation owner. They didn't know what work was.
They lived in a condition J.J. Rousseau called the state of nature. Rousseau's term should be brought back into common use. It grates on the nerves of those who, in R. Vaneigem's words, carry cadavers in their mouths. It makes the armor visible. Say the state of nature and you'll see the cadavers peer out.

Insist that freedom and the state of nature are synonyms, and the cadavers will try to bite you. The tame, the domesticated, try to monopolize the word freedom; they'd like to apply it to their own condition. They apply the word wild to the free. But it is another public secret that the tame, the domesticated, occasionally become wild but are never free so long as they remain in their pens.


[B] But none of them ever worked. And everyone knows it. The armored Christians who later “discovered” these communities knew that these people did no work, and this knowledge grated on Christian nerves, it rankled, it caused cadavers to peep out. The Christians spoke of women who did “lurid dances” in their fields instead of confining themselves to chores; they said hunters did a lot of devilish “hocus pocus” before actually drawing the bowstring. [/B]

These Christians, early time-and-motion engineers, couldn’t tell when play ended and work began. Long familiar with the chores of zeks, the Christians were repelled by the lurid and devilish heathen who pretended that the Curse of Labor had not fallen on them. The Christians put a quick end to the “hocus pocus” and the dances, and saw to it that none could fail to distinguish work from play.

Our ancestors I’ll borrow Turner’s term and call them the Possessed had more important things to do than to struggle to survive.

[I] Fredy Perlman: Against His-story, Against Leviathan! (1983) [/I]

I hope some of you get interested and read some of them. Also see this movie :

YouTube - HOME (English with subtitles)

Just as a small introduction of what is happening to the planet. Even if you feel "life is good" , it is unsustainable.
Research for soil erosion, soil depletion, deforestation, overfishing, overgrazing, desertification, plastic in the ocean, dead zones in the ocean, water pollution because of fertilizers and insecticides, peak oil, and so on.

This thread is about a different way people could organize. Not about renouncing technology. And everything is linked, the destruction of the planet is the reason people should think about this stuff. If we had 1000000 Earths waiting for us somewhere, there would be no reason for me to write this.

More links

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

The oil we eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq—By Richard Manning (Harper's Magazine)

The Gospel of Consumption | Orion Magazine

Today “work and more work” is the accepted way of doing things. If anything, improvements to the labor-saving machinery since the 1920s have intensified the trend. Machines can save labor, but only if they go idle when we possess enough of what they can produce. In other words, the machinery offers us an opportunity to work less, an opportunity that as a society we have chosen not to take. Instead, we have allowed the owners of those machines to define their purpose: not reduction of labor but higher productivity—and with it the imperative to consume virtually everything that the machinery can possibly produce.

[edit on 9-6-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

Governments issue UNLIMITED FREE MONEY for themselves.
Do as they do.
C----------t money.

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:24 PM
A look into history doesn't reveal any 'golden age' of happiness and contentment and even less 'enlightenment.' Life is hard work. The hunter gatherers weren't top of any food pyramid. A look at modern hunter gatherers shows tribal politics, exclusion and stress. Why would it be any different in earlier times? Fair enough, people like to romanticize the past and imagine a state of daily happiness...but why would it be anything like that?

The basic social stresses that dictate the dynamics of society are still there in smaller populations. Food and water were still a necessity. Relationships and hierarchies played a part in personal happiness as much as today. Pecking orders?

Look at any studies into bonobos, gorillas or chimpanzees and there isn't a great deal of idealism. Look at studies and documentaries about modern hunter-gatherer tribes. Violence, sex, food, water and territory. What's new about that?

'Tribal natures?' Walk through town, buy a newspaper, look at politics and sport. We're as tribal as we've ever been.

Hunter gatherers had more simplicity in their lives, maybe less BS? Definitely no 'golden age.'

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

You get no argument from me on this point. However, self-reliance is never a drawback. Working hard is part of self-sufficiency. Being afraid of hard work, back-breaking labor is what got us into a world of pollution and filth. We depend on someone we don't even know to prepare our food and its packaging, and all of our supplies.

Romanticizing the past is not what its about. Realizing that earth itself is a sustainable resource when wisdom and knowledge are applied to it rather than greed.

Small communities, mostly made up of family working together to put the crops in for instance results in more than a supply of food for times of need, it also re-established cooperation and self-reliance. Each person contributes to the welfare of all. So different from my bank account and yours type mentality.

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

I think the point was that they didn't slave away producing and consuming more and more and more! They hunted or gathered exactly what was needed for survival and the spent the off hours together as communities and families. With today's technology, we should be living a much easier lifestyle than they did. We should have realized the "Golden Age" you speak of, but we haven't!

I don't want to be a caveman, but even 50 years ago life was much simpler and more enjoyable. When I was a kid you couldn't go most places on Sunday, or after 5 pm. Ignoring the religious reasons, this was a better lifestyle than today.

In my position as a District Manager of a Tire Retailer the past 6 years, it was impossible for myself or my employees to enjoy July 4, Memorial Day, Saturday Cookouts, Community Events, etc. I had to stop participating in runs on Sat mornings. Our hours were extended from 5, to 6, to 7, to 8, to 9 pm in the last few years, but we didn't get more employees, we got "salaries."

The Consumer lifestyle is killing our communities and families.

Two-income households should not be "necessary" for survival.

Watch some Nick at Nite, or some other old TV shows! How many kids can grab a fishing pole and walk to a creek these days?!? You need permits and licenses from the state, an adult escort, a fishing lease, a ride to get somewhere, you have to buy bait, etc. How many people cook dinner at home every night, or bring their lunches to work? How many get up early enough to have breakfast together?

We have become a society meant to work, spend all the income on consumables, and then mortgage our futures to the credit card companies, banks, and governments. This way, we can never pull ourselves out of the abyss, and we will always be slaves to the system! This is the "company store" lifestyle. Work for us, we will finance all the tools and sustenance you need and sell you a house on credit! Great opportunity, problem being, you will never earn enough to pay it all off, you can't quit, and we will require more and more work from you as time passes. You will never see your family, you can't afford to quit or get fired, and therefore you will be an obediant employee, you will eventually die leaving your debts to your family, and they will follow in your footsteps!

We used to go to the Drive-In theatre on Saturday afternoons and play catch, frisbee, wiffle ball, eat watermelon and hot dogs, eventually it would get dark and the movie would start. The kids ran around and played, the teenagers made-out, and the adults thought life could never get better........and they were right! It has only gotten worse!

posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by Kandinsky

You do not understand what a tribe is. Read all the links I provided. In a tribe there is no chief that can give orders. He can only give advice. No orders like "do that or I and my servant people who let me think for them, will punish you !". The moment such a chief appears and other people give up their thinking and accept orders, and stop behaving like a group of friends, that is no longer a tribe.

For native Americans telling another what to do was something very rude. People were free. But they stayed together as friends and did not disband at the first hard time. Nobody forced them to share , but they did. Knowing that if one day they did not find anything, the others will share with them. Like a group of friends, something like the mafia but without the profit/capitalist side.

Read above about those settlers that were captured by Indians, then they did not want to return to our "civilization", not even for their families ! What kind of sorcery was that ? Are we not the best ? Why would anyone leave "us" ? What did they found there "on the other side" ? Family, friends, a community to be part of, personal freedom, free time.

Because there is no "us". You tell a "Savage" to come join us then you tell him : "no more tribe for you, be alone, work/eat/repeat/die". You will be a free person just a few hours a day . You will compete against all others. Enjoy.

Why isn't our life easier than theirs ? With all our inventions ? We do not need to renounce knowledge about how to do things easy if we chose to behave as a tribe. We should be working 1/10 of the work of today and still there will be enough for all. More important - free time to spend with families and friends. Or do whatever. That is what people really seek, no "work" and "stuff". Less environmental destruction, turning the planet into money - trash. Now people work just to have something to do.

The fact that there are new houses sitting empty while people lose their own houses, and at the same time people compete against each other, ready to work more and more but they find no work, (because there are too many houses, cars, and so on already) so they can't get a house, should raise some questions about our "advanced civilization". Logic and reason about what "we" do are gone, people would dig holes and fill them up again no questions asked if someone would pay them for that.

Crazy Horse, Tashunkewitko of the western Sioux, was born about 1845. Killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska in 1877, he lived barely 33 years.

As a boy, Crazy Horse seldom saw white men. Sioux parents took pride in teaching their sons and daughters according to tribal customs. Often giving food to the needy, they exemplified self-denial for the general good. They believed in generosity, courage, and self-denial, not a life based upon commerce and gain.

One winter when Crazy Horse was only five, the tribe was short of food. His father, a tireless hunter, finally brought in two antelope. The little boy rode his pony through the camp, telling the old folks to come for meat, without first asking his parents. Later when Crazy Horse asked for food, his mother said, "You must be brave and live up to your generous reputation."

It was customary for young men to spend much time in prayer and solitude, fasting in the wilderness --typical of Sioux spiritual life which has since been lost in the contact with a material civilization.

Edmund Morgan imagines their mood as he writes in his book American Slavery, American Freedom:

If you were a colonist, you knew that your technology was superior to the Indians'. You knew that you were civilized, and they were savages... . But your superior technology had proved insufficient to extract anything. The Indians, keeping to themselves, laughed at your superior methods and lived from the land more abundantly and with less labor than you did... . And when your own people started deserting in order to live with them, it was too much. ... So you killed the Indians, tortured them, burned their villages, burned their cornfields. It proved your superiority, in spite of your failures. And you gave similar treatment to any of your own people who succumbed to their savage ways of life. But you still did not grow much. Black slaves were the answer.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 06:44 AM
Forgive me if my english or the way i present what i have to say is not up to the mark. English is not my native language, though its the first language in my day to day communication.

As pai mei wrote

Why isn't our life easier than theirs ? With all our inventions ?

Hunter gatherer society didnt have any social segregation or inventions or occupations as weh ave in our society now.

If the Wheel was invented in the hunter gatherer society (of course , to ease the burden of transport), that would give arise to occupations of a wheel maker, a cart maker etc rise to occupations..which like what we do would be a 5 hr job and would give rise to the work-eat-sleep cycle.

it was the simplicity of their lives that gave them their happiness.

Dont you get the idea wrong that "all was rosy for the hunter gatherers".

They had wild animals to look out for, we have muggers to watch out for.

They had natural disasters and diseases to watch out for, we have man made disasters and more more serious diseases (some diseases, mutating to infect humans the swine flu).

They had a simple authority with a "chief", where as we have swindling and self serving poticicans.

Life has changed..and no, however hard we try, we wont be able to go back to a hunter gatherer mentality and happiness....unless everything ends on this world and a group starts all over again...

[edit on 10/6/09 by coredrill]

posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 06:58 AM
You don't realize how much useless work we do just to have something to do because our crazy system requires it. We waste our lives and destroy the planet.
Another system : share the work for basic things, and share the results is possible. And gain free time, communities, and so on.
Want more than basic stuff ? You have all the free time in the world to work for more stuff.
For example only 3% of the workforce works in agriculture. Imagine how little work would be that for all. Or we could work in turns 1 year in 20 years, and the rest of time have free food, clothes, and some other items. And free time - meaning free life . As those tribal people had - when do you think they created all those beautiful art objects ?

In the free time nobody would ban you from working doing what you like. You get together with people who like the same stuff and you can build anything.
Like the Indian "societies".

Sitting Bull also knew techniques of healing and carried medicinal herbs, though he was not a medicine man.

Because of his status as a wichasha wakan, Sitting Bull was a member of the Buffalo Society, a dream society for those who dreamt of buffalo. He also was a member of the Heyoka, a society for those who dreamed of thunderbirds.

Search "story of stuff".
Search "gospel of consumption"
Links are above anyway.

[edit on 10-6-2009 by pai mei]

posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 07:06 AM
reply to post by coredrill

If the Wheel was invented in the hunter gatherer society (of course , to ease the burden of transport), that would give arise to occupations of a wheel maker, a cart maker etc rise to occupations..which like what we do would be a 5 hr job and would give rise to the work-eat-sleep cycle.

The difference is this. The wheel maker would not have tried to globalize his product. He would have made the small amount of wheels necessary to fulfil their needs. He would have eased his own burden, by simply making wheels a few hours a week. He would have eased everyone else's burdens by providing them carts to use in their daily duties. Everyone would have lived better!

What we have is a wheel maker making as many wheels as possible, regardless of the need. When they don't sell fast enough, he sells them to other tribes. When they still don't sell fast enough, he builds in "functional obsolescence" so that today's wheel won't work for long. He gets with the cart maker and they conspire to change the design every few months so that tomorrows cart won't work with today's wheel and vice versa. Then when they still don't sell fast enough, they find a way to make a cheaper wheel that will seem like a good deal, but will wear out twice as fast. Then when they still don't sell fast enough, they make "trendy" wheels and they teach the youth that they are somehow "inferior" to their peers if they don't have the latest designs. Then when they still don't sell fast enough, they stage a murder in the woods to look like an attack from another tribe. When their own tribe retaliates, they sell wheels to both sides! Then when they still don't sell fast enough, they whine to the chief that they cannot continue to make wheels in this environment and the tribe needs to pitch in and subsidize the cost of wheel making. Then everyone pitches in some of their hard earned currency to help the ailing wheel maker, and at the same time, they still continue to buy wheels as the price goes up and up. By now, they are dependent on wheels, they cannot function without one!

You starting to get the picture?!?

I am sure the tribes had their share of problems, but we are "engineering" our own problems on purpose! We are creating the throw-away lifestyle that leads to pollution on the manufacturing and consuming end. We are creating a false-demand for our products on purpose, and then complaining that we have to work harder to make more products?!

posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 07:29 AM

Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by coredrill

We are creating the throw-away lifestyle that leads to pollution on the manufacturing and consuming end. We are creating a false-demand for our products on purpose, and then complaining that we have to work harder to make more products?!

Right on the Head of the Nail!!

This where i imagine myself saying "THESE HUMANS MUST BE CRAZY"

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