Re: New Age Nonsense

Bret Diamond (diam9018@TAO.SOSC.OSSHE.EDU)
Wed, 1 Mar 1995 11:35:29 -0800


While I agree with most of your posting regarding the "sameness"
of human virtues and vices cross-culturally, there was (and always is)
one glaring misperception with your inference that we "romanticize" Native
American and other indigenous cultures; that they are/were just as flawed
as the rest of us.
Time and time again so-called "modern" societies suffer the
consequences of what will ultimately be our downfall--greed. All people
began as tribal people, our primary concern was the well-being of our
family and our community. At some point in history, our paths parted, we
became more concerned with self and material accumulation, while most of
the other tribal cultures continued to place their community's needs
before there own. Yes, Mayan civilizations collapsed, just as so many
others before and after them. But did they collapse because of greed, or
poor planning? Did they clearcut the rainforest to create pasture for
cattle that would only be viable for 5 years before it turned to
infertile hardpan? Native Americans bought many goods by trading buffalo
hides, but they they hunt them to extinction just to reap the short-term
benefits of profit? The assertion that indigenous people only took what
they needed is valid--they didn't have or need bank accounts and CD's to
stuff full of money. Show me just one example of pre-contact capitalist
greed by any indigenous culture! (I say pre-contact becuase of
never-ending efforts at assimilation are always based in a shift to a
cash based economy rather than a subsistance one; becuase there is no
profit is subsistence)