Friday, December 5, 2008

Human Transition

Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, in their book Origins, explain the human transition from cooperative and sharing communities, to agricultural settlement:

"Why then, is recent human history characterised by conflict rather than compassion? We suggest that the answer to this question lies in the change in way of life from hunting and gathering to farming, a change which began about ten thousand years ago and which involved a dramatic alteration in the relationship people had both with the world around them and among themselves. The hunter-gatherer is part of the natural order: a farmer necessarily distorts that order. But more important, sedentary farming communities have the opportunity to accumulate possessions, and having done so they must protect them. This is the key to human conflict, and it is greatly exaggerated in the highly materialistic world we now live in."

What happens once the farmer stops farming?

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