I just came back from a research project in southern Spain. I lived with Senegalese migrants in the mountains for a few months and studied how they are being treated by the Spanish authorities. These people literally have nothing. If one of them has an onion or even a banana, he splits it between 3 or 4 of his brethren around him. They are probably the most simple people I've seen in terms of lifestyle, but undoubtedly the happiest. I've got a safe place to live, roof over my head, gadgets, car, a massive amount of clothes in comparison to these guys, and I don't feel a fraction as positive or happy with my life as they do.
This is the destructive force of Protestant-driven capitalism that has plagued the west (and unfortunately been exported to the rest of the world) for centuries now. The Senegalese Mouridiyyah, like many other tribal people from West Africa are dividual in their social makeup. This means that their identity is based on the connections they sustain, i.e. persons who cannot be understood apart from the social relations they are a part of. As an example, if a new member of their brotherhood/tribe turns up at the mountains, it is their responsibility to clothe him, give him a place to stay and feed him until he finds his way. I should note that even if these guys are peaceful, self-sustaining (through farming etc) and welcome anyone who comes past their caves for coffee and tea, they are still unrelentlessly targeted by the Spanish state. There have been 6 eviction attempts in the past 5 years, usually involving riot police, bulldozers, baton charges, tear gas, to which thousands of Spanish people actually came up to the mountains, obstructed the police and stopped the evictions from continuing. They are targeted because they live a life that is communal in nature, antithetical to capitalist-driven consumerism and seen as a threat to the sovereignty of the Spanish state.
Capitalism has deprived us of something that we used to thrive in, community. And coming back to an empty apartment with distant friends, distant family, no neighbours or acquaintances that would even give me a call if I happened to be hospitalised has made me realise how fucked up our situation is. We live without a proper idea of what community is, too obsessed with contrived ideas of "my house, my gun, my wages, my land, my food" without taking into consideration that this is a dark and rugged planet, and that life would be a lot more pleasant if we didn't see each other as nothing more than strangers.