This is a blog post rendition of my 1-hr presentation at The 21 Convention in Austin, TX in August, right after I gave a 20-minute abbreviated version of same at the Ancestral Health Symposium, 2012, in Boston, at Harvard University School of Law.
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. — Artistotle
I began this series writing about the quality of knowledge in a Paleolithic context; i.e., animal tracks, weather, climate...all very real stuff. That was juxtaposed with the quality of knowledge in the Neolithic; i.e., bibles, priests, politicians, authority in general.
What's interesting to me is that contrast or difference is only possible by virtue of society, and we're social animals. Sure, if anyone wants to be Mountain Man, have at it, and you're guaranteed to take the Paleolithic quality of knowledge as guide, should you wish to survive.
As social beings, we live our entire lives in a give-&-take scenario, by nature. So, in a hyperbolic sense, we're "socialists" and "commies" at heart. That's the root of the problem...no; actually, it's not. The root of the problem is that the vast majority of human beings who have ever lived are of good heart morally—which is to say that they have distinguished between right & wrong generally, and in the vast swath of history, have willed themselves to make right most of the time. We would not exist, otherwise. Unfortunately, that essential virtue gets turned inside-out and is a bad combination with the foregoing socialism.
It does not scale beyond the evolutionary norm. Now let's see why.
What happens when, as most people do, you treat a domesticated dog or cat as it ought to be treated? They're universally lovers, in exchange for the love and care you bestow upon them. What happens when trailer trash morons take a pit bull and punish him, deprive him, and intend him to be mean?
You get a politician, except one more honest and direct. My point? We're domesticated as well, being treated as trailer trash treats pit bulls. Fortunately, most humans are still of good heart virtue in spite of all catechisms...from holy books to federal statutes, all admonishing you to be a thief and murderer, by proxy. ...Yep, you can put your claws and fangs away. God & State have it covered for you. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
In a scenario where your survival, happiness—the well being of your family in the face of nature—depended upon your efforts to success, combined with the efforts of a lot of others, you become socially mature, adept. Some are always more capable that others, some better suited to just do laborious things, and some forward looking, and a list would go on.
Ever noticed in any given family how over time, strengths and weaknesses shine through and everyone naturally gravitates to an equilibrium of contributing what they contribute best? How do you think hunter-gatherer groups managed to survive over aeons, migrating the globe from equator to arctic, sea level to thousands of feet...no 7/11, McDonald's, Mega-Market or election of their next King in sight?
Yep, it's primitive. The fallacy is in concluding that their simple social system is the cause of their primitivity. It's not. They simply didn't contemplate agriculture. Every single comfort you have rests squarely upon the technological domestication of grains and animals.
The people in all of these pics have one thing in common: none of them have a single thing worth stealing.
But agriculture and animal domestication was the single biggest boon to humanity ever, and you really can't fault anyone for that. It has given us everything materially—not least of which is leisure, pure pleasure in life, down time, vacations, and so on.
Where there is something to steal, you will have thieves.
...Protecting yourself from theft increases your costs. And what is the natural tendency? You socialize costs. That's what we have done since we had brains big enough to know where to take a proper shit. It's in our genes, as social animals. Families do it all the time and have, for all time. It's all a give & take; everything is shared, both profit and loss. And, that is as absolutely essential for a group of 30-60 primitive people, as it is for a wolf pack.
But it doesn't scale. See? It just does not scale, and it doesn't for myriad reasons. You may not mind Korg from across the camp coming over and messing in your shit while you're asleep, because he deems he needs it. You can always deal with him as the world turns. It's a far cry from Guido messing with your shit at gunpoint because Judy and her kids, 3,000 miles away, need something. And of course, Guido get's his cut, too. A simple example, but an enormously important distinction, because, guess what? We're social animals. There is absolutely nothing social or even communal about you having to give even a runny shit about anyone but your own peeps you can look square in the eye.
It does not scale, and it never ever will. The fantasy that it can is actually even more pernicious than the "personal god" fantasy of child-adults. Shit, most "atheists" really only turned in their God badge for a terrestrial substitute in the form of the State. Just like the original commies.
That was intended as a funny slide during the presentation, but it is quite interesting qua social power, when you consider the latest political BS.
Neolithic social power was as important as it needed to be, and was, because we're here.
Sorry, but it doesn't. It never will.
We evolved from primates, not bees & ants. I have no idea what it is with so many people, that they seek a hive existence.
...In Part 8, we'll have a very good laugh contrasting Paleolithic real social power with the laughably impotent Neolithic social impotence where people strut around pretending they have power. Yea, not just children. Actually, children instinctively know better. You have to be trained to be as stupid as you can possibly be.
- Part 1: The Quality of Paleolithic Knowledge
- Part 2: The Quality of Neolithic Knowledge
- Part 3: The Problem With Authority
- Part 4: Having One’s Cake and Eating It Too
- Part 5: The Real Hobgoblins
- Part 6: Democide
- Part 7: The Quality of Paleolithic Social Power
- Part 8: The Quality of Neolithic Social Power
- Part 9: Conclusion; How to Fix Everything