Sunday, May 19, 2013
Where civilization went wrong
Humans spent most of our existence as hunter/gathers. That's what we are evolved for.
Life, in most ways, wasn't too bad. About 4 hours of each day was spent doing what was needed for survival: food, clothing, shelter -the whole bit. The rest of the time was spent socializing, telling stories, making music, and doing the wild monkey dance.
Even that hunting and gathering stuff was done with other people. Their “work” is what a lot of people do to relax these days -berry picking, basket weaving, fishing, hunting, and the like.
So it look like the whole agriculture/civilization thing goes against our nature. No wonder we are stressed out.
Now I happen to like some things about civilization: cold beer, hot showers, and good books. Maybe a few other things. We are clever people. By now we should have figured out how to get back to the 4 hour/day work schedule. In fact, since we are supposed to be so smart, why can't we meet our needs on 2 hours or less.
Instead, we have people working 12 – 16 hour days. Their phones and computers keep them tethered to work, even on their so called days off. Normal social life: visiting, music, mattress dancing -all that now takes place on special occasions, if at all.
We've been enslaved. Partly it's been by our own greed. We fell for the allure of big houses, beads and trinkets. Mostly, however, it's been forced on us by the tiny percentage of people who actually run things. Civilization has been a scam by a priest/king class that puts them on top and everyone else serving their wants and desires.
I believe we have the technology and know how to get back to our natural rhythms and still have a decent civilization. There's enough stuff for everyone to have enough. Automation could be put towards freeing up time for everyone rather than making a tiny elite filthy rich. We might have to do more gardening, but if we've got a lot of time, how bad will that be? There are techniques like permaculture and some forms of hydroponics that require little labor once set up.
Our houses would shrink down and we'd have a lot less clutter in our lives. On the upside, we'd live like humans again. Life could be one big party.
Why don't we stive for that? Looks like this current version of Civilization/industrialism/priest/king thing has just about run its course anyway.