It’s pretty well known that people tend to over-romanticize primitive indigenous societies. The Native Americans before white people arrived is one of the most popular. Sure, they were warlike and superstitious. But, it was honest. Tribes fought for territory and the people thought that they could affect weather, hunting, crops, etc through rituals to appease various supernatural forces.
However, they also didn’t have politicians, cops, lawyers, hierarchical clergy, widespread depression, prisons, marketing, corporations, money, disease epidemics, pollution, jobs, pundits, mass media, cancer and obesity causing diets, and so many other things that we think of as normal and inherent, but that we made up along the way and it has made us far worse off.
They may not have had our medical capabilities, and if they got a serious injury, they were usually screwed. They also didn’t have even a small percentage of the diseases and ailments that plague us now.
When I look at their problems and our problems, I would trade ours for theirs. The risk of injury and death surrounds us even now, but I would gladly live in a less comfortable, more physically demanding life surrounded by nature instead of billboards and buildings. I would rather work the land than be anyone’s employee. I would rather live in a place completely devoid of money and marketing, and all the corruption and bullshit they engender.
The “noble savage” may be largely a myth, as many people view them, but their way of life was certainly far more noble than ours.
© 2015 William Suphan
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