As some of you may or may not be aware, notions of Social Darwinism with a Hobbesian misunderstanding are never far behind in the belief system of your average paleo diet fan. That is, the view that the ancient man was a savage, rugged individualist that knew no reins over his own most basic and lustful desires. You've undoubtedly heard the words 'survival of the fittest' used to support this demonstrably false idea. What this basically espouses is that life in the stone age/paleolithic periods was cold, harsh, without co-operation and without love.
I'm reading Mutual Aid: A factor of evolution, and it's just crammed with solid information (with scholarly references!) that shatters many, if not all, of the tenets of the aforementioned view.
From the book, p67: "As to the lake-dwellings of Switzerland, which represent a still further advance in civilisation, they yield still better evidence of life and work in societies. It is known that even during the stone age the shores of the Swiss lakes were dotted with a succession of villages, each of which consisted of several huts, and was built upon a platform supported by numberless pillars in the lake. No less than twenty-four, mostly stone age villages, were discovered along the shores of Lake Leman, thirty-two in the Lake of Constance, forty-six in the in the Lake of Neuchatel, and so on; and each of them testifies to the immense amount of labour which was spent in common by the tribe, not by the conventional family we know today. It has even been asserted that the life of the lake-dwellers must have been remarkably free of all warfare. And so it probably was, especially if we refer to the life of those primitive folk who live until the present time in similar villages built upon pillars on the sea coasts.
It is thus seen, even from the above rapid hints, that our knowledge of primitive man is not so scanty after all, and that, so far as it goes, it is rather opposed than favourable to the Hobbesian speculations. Moreover, it may be supplemented, to a great extent, by the direct observation of such primitive tribes as now stand on the same level of civilisation as the inhabitants of Europe stood in prehistoric times"
Interesting, right? I can't remember which page it was mentioned on, but the author remarked that plant foods would always be consumed before hunting animals; simply for the reasons that it is without mortal risk, considerably easier and plant food was typically discovered in grand quantities. It is for these most basic reasons that plant food was more key to survival than even the most fearsome spear. What some people choose to take from this, somehow, is that eating meat is natural. No, the conclusion that proper thinking will lead you to is that animals were only eaten in times of scarcity and desperation; conditions that are far removed from nature and normality.
I think it is quite evident that the natural way of man is love and co-operation. It just doesn't seem that way these days because European imperialism and domination culture has very long arms and they've touched almost every corner of our home, Earth.
thanks for sharing (-:
You're quite welcome.
If you are interested in Paleo debunking I'd highly recommend watching this channels videos starting from number 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimitiveNutrition
I've been to that region of Switzerland, and believe me, the sheer beauty and majesty of the place could never produce a harsh, "survival" way of living.
Hey, I just wanna say that life in stone age was cold and harsh, and that love and cooperation are mechanisms that allowed the survival of the species in first place. Survival of the fittest does indeed apply since it was a hierarchical community (those lowest in the hierarchy would be the first ones to be abandoned to their own fate when food was scarce etc., basically, the most "disposable"), but the primary goal was to stick together no matter what. Without that, no dice.
And that's why you gotta love our society today, there's enough for everyone to survive, and many of us even have the privilege of being able to thrive :)
It's not each other, it's within the very same tribe. If you can't feed everyone, you have to get rid of somebody, and it's usually those who are the least capable of contributing to the community. It may sound crude, but we can be grateful that nowadays we hardly are in such a situation. I'm not saying that people back then liked it this way or accepted it as "natural" without reluctance and dislike (like paleo people seem to claim, according to you); it was a matter of necessity