Life Without Chiefs

Topics: Egalitarianism, Liberalism, Redistribution Pages: 3 (1350 words) Published: August 14, 2009
If we look at the modern world, we suppose that human beings have always been divided into two classes: the rulers and the ruled. Emperors and kings have been removed in the modern democracy, but there are still inequalities among the people. For millions of years, our ancestors lived in a group of 30 to 50 people and lived by hunting and looking for food wandering here and there in the jungle. Human nature developed in this social context. Only ten thousand years ago, they began to live in the villages. And only two thousand years ago, they stopped their hunting life. Human nature cannot make an important change in such a short period. There are still some hunting-and-gathering societies in the world today to make a study of human nature. There are no ruling classes in such societies. In the small society, people knew each other very well. They gave things hoping to take and took hoping to give. Luck played a great role in getting food. So they would share whatever they got. They were generous. They would not say how much they wanted, what they wanted and when they wanted. It would make their relations bad. Even in the modern society, children, wives and friends do not calculate the cost of the gifts and help. But they have to thank the giver, and it would not be acceptable in the ancient society. In the ancient society, it is rude to say 'thank you' to the giver. It means you have calculated his gift and you want him to pay it back and considered him to be an ungenerous person. Such peoples are egalitarian, that is, they believe that everyone is equal and should have the same rights and opportunities. Richard Lee gives an interesting example of reciprocity. In order to feed the Kung, a south African tribe, Lee bought the fattest and largest ox. But his friends said that it was a useless animal. They said so because it would make Lee proud of buying such a big animal for them and he would consider himself a king and all other persons inferior. Their criticism...
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