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ziq OP wrote

The study of hunter-gatherers, who live for the day and do not accumulate surpluses, shows that humanity can live more or less as Keynes suggests. It’s just that we’re choosing not to. A key to that lost or forsworn ability, Suzman suggests, lies in the ferocious egalitarianism of hunter-gatherers. For example, the most valuable thing a hunter can do is come back with meat. Unlike gathered plants, whose proceeds are “not subject to any strict conventions on sharing,” hunted meat is very carefully distributed according to protocol, and the people who eat the meat that is given to them go to great trouble to be rude about it. This ritual is called “insulting the meat,” and it is designed to make sure the hunter doesn’t get above himself and start thinking that he’s better than anyone else. “When a young man kills much meat,” a Bushman told the anthropologist Richard B. Lee, “he comes to think of himself as a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants or inferiors. . . . We can’t accept this.” The insults are designed to “cool his heart and make him gentle.” For these hunter-gatherers, Suzman writes, “the sum of individual self-interest and the jealousy that policed it was a fiercely egalitarian society where profitable exchange, hierarchy, and significant material inequality were not tolerated.”

This egalitarian impulse, Suzman suggests, is central to the hunter-gatherer’s ability to live a life that is, on its own terms, affluent, but without abundance, without excess, and without competitive acquisition. The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy. As he says, “If this kind of egalitarianism is a precondition for us to embrace a post-labor world, then I suspect it may prove a very hard nut to crack.”


RedEmmaSpeaks wrote

Also, I should point out that when it comes to various indigenous groups, very few qualified as nomadic. Most of them, the extent of their wandering, was that they had a winter home and a summer home that they traveled between. Others would stay in a place until the land was used up, move away to a new patch of land, returning to the original a few generations later after the land has had time to repair.

Whatever the circumstances, in the wake of a collapse, what will emerge, are different kinds of living, not just one, because the One-Size-Fits-All approach we've been using, doesn't fit anyone. Different areas have different needs. We've only been able to pretend otherwise for so long, thanks to oil, that we can ignore the reality of the land, but once the last of that is used up, people in Phoenix, Arizona will be forced to discover that they are, in fact, living in a desert, and a person living in a desert, simply can't expect to have the same kind of living (houses, food, etc.) as someone living in, say, Kalamazoo.


ziq OP wrote

That's gonna be a rude awakening. I doubt even 1% of them would stay in the desert without AC and imported food / water.


Random_Revolutionary wrote (edited )

Is this the kind of life you want?

Not trying to mock you btw, just curious.


ziq OP wrote

I don't live in a fantasy.

I'm also a lifelong vegan.


Fossidarity wrote

Lifelong? That's really impressive, you must be lucky to be raised vegan.


ziq OP wrote (edited )

Not really, I was 7 when I made the decision to refuse to eat meat, shortly after realizing what meat was, and it took a few more years to stop eating dairy and eggs. But I'm in my 30s so I have little memory of not being veg. When my mother was pregnant with me she couldn't eat animal products without throwing up, so I like to think I've always being built to be vegan.