The Hunter Gatherers and the Pirates – II
Here’s the concluding part of Ted’s original, “The Hunter Gatherers and the Pirates – I”. Astute readers might recall Ted’s cliffhanger ending to introduce us to the Pirates in this concluding part of his very engaging post, and are eagerly awaiting the progress of the narrative arc. True to form, Ted has executed a coup de grace that I am sure, will go very well with the readers. Nice flourish, Ted. :-)
Part II the Pirates.
The Narrative so far:
As anatomically modern humans left Africa and hybridized with archaic homo sapiens, men took an evolutionary step backwards towards their big toothed, much more sexually dimorphic forbears, whereas women continued to develop culturally and socially. The big canines didn’t come back, but the aggressive behavior of intra male competition and polygamy that had been associated with big canines did. In the time since the canine teeth had been lost, there had been a lot of cultural development, leading to less sexual dimorphism and pair bonding and male parental investment and nurturing. I postulated that these things were driven by female to female cultural transmission that was indirectly passed onto males.
So when males began to move behaviorally back toward focusing energy on mating as opposed to child rearing, they still retained their tool using capability, this manifested in males fighting each other with weapons instead of their teeth, wheras the women used their brains to make baskets, build shelter, and cultivate gardens.
This caused relationships between men and women to become strained leading to imbalance. This was perhaps not all bad, because possibly it can be seen as rift or split that began to move toward unity at a higher level of organization.
For example the material culture amongst the San is very minimalist. There is no driver for cultural evolution so long as everyone is satisfied with it. It appears to be a very peaceful, fulfilling, satisfying way of life. This basic Forager culture only seems to change due to forces acting upon it from outside and the effect always seems to be more or less devastating. History can be viewed as one big long cultural genocide of the Foragers at the hands of agriculturalists. Foragers don’t usually adopt agriculture, in response to competition from neighbors but instead are supplanted by people practicing it, that invade their territory. Often the invaders kill the men and absorb the women. So you see the mitocondral DNA of foragers being preserved in the population with Y DNA from Farmers. The Y DNA of the foragers is lost forever.
In this rift between the sexes, what would bring them back together in creating lasting pair bonds and cooperation in nurturing the children, would be sexual equality or parity. Egalitarianism.
But what happened was more splits were created, as male and female culture pursued separate paths. Women got more and more adept at producing food by drawing nourishment out of the Earth. Men became more and more adept at killing each other and throwing big feasts, made up of all the wealth the women had produced.
So you have a basic economy here of women producing wealth, the men taking it from them and then fighting each other over it. The goal of healing this rift is “Holism”. Here is a quote from wikipedia’s page on it
“The term holism was introduced by the South African statesman Jan Smuts in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution. Smuts defined holism as “The tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.”
The idea has ancient roots. Examples of holism can be found throughout human history and in the most diverse socio-cultural contexts, as has been confirmed by many ethnological studies. The French Protestant missionary, Maurice Leenhardt coined the term cosmomorphism to indicate the state of perfect symbiosis with the surrounding environment which characterized the culture of the Melanesians of New Caledonia. For these people, an isolated individual is totally indeterminate, indistinct and featureless until he can find his position within the natural and social world in which he is inserted. The confines between the self and the world are annulled to the point that the material body itself is no guarantee of the sort of recognition of identity which is typical of our own culture.”
Women most likely invented Agriculture creating for a time a Matrilineal phase in Civilization. This can be looked at as a stage in a dialectic.
“However, for the “myth” of matriarchy to have had some validity, and in order for a Classical Greek theatre audience to accept the fact that women such as Helen, Clytemnestra, Antigone, Iphigenia, Hecuba, Andromache, Penelope, Medea, Alcestis, and Elektra (fully half of all extant 5th century plays have powerful women in leading roles) could indeed threaten patriarchal social order or alter the course of history, it must have had some basis in historical reality. The “historical” situation of the majority of the myths and legends is the Bronze Age, during or near the end of the Minoan civilization, and the “reality” may have been not matriarchy per se but rather matriliny.”
Agriculture led to a matrilineal culture because the women knew how to bake the bread. “Lord” derives in the German from “loaf ward” Lady…derives somehow from kneading the dough. The point is grain agriculture led to the establishment of elites.
Eventually some how, this matrilineal, matrilocal culture created the conditions for Patriarchy.
Its easy to loose the thread of the narrative here. So many things are a mystery. I believe a rift was created initially between male and female consciousness. But once Patriarchy was spawned, egocentric, “rational” binary thinking continued to create more splits as society became more complex. The original Warrior elite of the horticultural societies came to exploit entire classes of people, man and women.
Enough of this already! Where are the pirates?
Where are the pirates? The Pirates never showed up. They just sent their homunculi. The pirates in this story are ”The Great Pirates” that Buckminster Fuller spoke of. Their actions are illegible. They are the executives of a vast machine. The Borg.
They send their emmisaries on pirate missions. They always do. The pirates we see, the ones in the ships, are not the real pirates, but rather their zombies. Being undead they don’t engage in authentic acts, but only do the bidding of their Dark overlords, who have possessed their bodies with the memes of civilization. I was half joking about the bread, but I say this in all seriousness!
Here they are: As embedding of this video has been disabled, you’ll have to head over to YouTube to to watch the video (under 5 mins) and return back to the narrative, if you like.
None of the actions of the civilized people in this ship are in anyway authentic. First of all its not an Anthropological discovery mission, its simply a Junket. Some important people came to Greater Andaman, dignitaries, so they took them down to gawk at the natives and give them coconuts, like feeding bears at Yellowstone-in both instances, a dangerous thing to do, for the people as well as the bears. The bears become dependant and lose their natural dignity and they often maul the hand that feeds them.
But unlike the case with naïve tourists, the official gift giving campaigns of “civilized” people to “primitive” people is always disingenuous. Its designed to make the primitives dependant so that they can be absorbed into the Borg, into the machine, into the place where authentic human acts become impossible.
These Sentineli Warriors are real and alive. If you invade their island and threaten their families, their way of life, their world, They will kill you and bury your body in a shallow grave. This was the fate of two poaching fisherman that shipwrecked there in 2006. Though violent, this is a free and thus noble act.
Practically none of the violent acts on the part of civilized people perpetrated against primitive indigenous people, are free and noble acts. No one does anything in their own name. Its always soldiers “just doing their job” following directives from the state. Its poor settlers moving into an area in response to a government policy, to keep the exploited peasants from revolting. That’s how these conflicts happen. The exploited vs. the wild. The Pirates(the executives of the vast machine) never show up.
Indigenous people speak heart to heart, buy like the old canard from spaghetti westerns “white man speak with fork tongue.” Its true, but it has nothing to do with being a Northern European. It’s the machine that speaks through the white man. The machine first spoke through olive skinned Middle Easterners and Mediterranean’s, when the Europeans were dressing in animal’s skins stalking wild game through the forest.
There is a barnacle that invades the body of a crab and commandeers the totality of the organism and subverts it from being a crab toward using all its energy to produce more barnacles. The barnacle has “civilized” the crab. The crab has certain stereotypical behaviors that are subverted to the biological needs of the barnacle. The barnacle interferes with the hormones of male crabs and gets them to behave like females so that they will care for the eggs of the barnacle in the way in which a female crab would care for its own young.
We are subverted into reproducing not authentic human culture but rather the machine. Everything the Sentineli do is authentic. They hunt and fish in order to obtain food. Its not “their job.” When these men fish they aren’t selling their labor to the fishing company, who in turn gives them money so that they can buy food.
The indigenous way of life is characterized by raw unmediated experience. Every act is authentic and fulfills an immediate need. They thus have a low memetic parasite load.
Its like this: Everyone has a certain amount of energy in a given day. All human beings have a basic repertoire of behaviors. This energy and repertoire of behaviors are exploited by parasites. The crab has parental behavior that is exploited. It not only the body, that is being exploited by the parasite, but the behavior as well.
Human beings are social animals with a limited number of Archetypes. So the tendency is for the civilized people to treat the primitives as children. This is clearly what is happening here with the Jarawa, kissing cousins of the Sentineli but without the advantage of equal isolation.
Again, because of disabling of embedding, you’ll have to head over to YouTube to watch the video. This is a small part of a larger documentary, and slightly more involved and contains more commentary and interviews (15 mins).
But civilization treats everyone as children. The machine itself, the State, is the parent. The archetype of the elder parent is the archetype that is exploited. It all comes down to parasites and relative immunity. These indigenous have no immunity to measles and influenza nor do they have immunity to the parasitically exploitative memes of civilization.
The Preconquest consciousness is destroyed from the assault of inauthentic human behavior. “Here I am your friend, have these gifts.” The civilized say, while taking their land, resources and destroying their way of life. But the pirates never show up. The settler means him no harm. The settler is not doing it out of hate. He has a lot of parasites to feed. He must pay taxes, he must sell what he has, his labor to people who hold back a profit. He must have money to buy goods from others who hold back a profit. His behavior is regulated by laws enacted by those with authority over him, laws designed to facilitate the order necessary for continued exploitation.
The pirates never show up.