Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:49 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Tribe: THE MEN AND THE DOGS 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Tribe: THE MEN AND THE DOGS
Junger's core thesis strikes a nerve...
Quote:
The Great Affluence Fallacy
David Brooks AUG. 9, 2016
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/opini ... llacy.html

In 18th-century America, colonial society and Native American society sat side by side. The former was buddingly commercial; the latter was communal and tribal. As time went by, the settlers from Europe noticed something: No Indians were defecting to join colonial society, but many whites were defecting to live in the Native American one.
This struck them as strange. Colonial society was richer and more advanced. And yet people were voting with their feet the other way.
The colonials occasionally tried to welcome Native American children into their midst, but they couldn’t persuade them to stay. Benjamin Franklin observed the phenomenon in 1753, writing, “When an Indian child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian ramble with them, there is no persuading him ever to return.”
During the wars with the Indians, many European settlers were taken prisoner and held within Indian tribes. After a while, they had plenty of chances to escape and return, and yet they did not. In fact, when they were “rescued,” they fled and hid from their rescuers.
Sometimes the Indians tried to forcibly return the colonials in a prisoner swap, and still the colonials refused to go. In one case, the Shawanese Indians were compelled to tie up some European women in order to ship them back. After they were returned, the women escaped the colonial towns and ran back to the Indians.
Even as late as 1782, the pattern was still going strong. Hector de Crèvecoeur wrote, “Thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those aborigines having from choice become European.”
I first read about this history several months ago in Sebastian Junger’s excellent book “Tribe.” It has haunted me since. It raises the possibility that our culture is built on some fundamental error about what makes people happy and fulfilled.
The native cultures were more communal. As Junger writes, “They would have practiced extremely close and involved child care. And they would have done almost everything in the company of others. They would have almost never been alone.”
If colonial culture was relatively atomized, imagine American culture of today. As we’ve gotten richer, we’ve used wealth to buy space: bigger homes, bigger yards, separate bedrooms, private cars, autonomous lifestyles. Each individual choice makes sense, but the overall atomizing trajectory sometimes seems to backfire. According to the World Health Organization, people in wealthy countries suffer depression by as much as eight times the rate as people in poor countries.
There might be a Great Affluence Fallacy going on — we want privacy in individual instances, but often this makes life generally worse.
Every generation faces the challenge of how to reconcile freedom and community — “On the Road” versus “It’s a Wonderful Life.” But I’m not sure any generation has faced it as acutely as millennials.
In the great American tradition, millennials would like to have their cake and eat it, too. A few years ago, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came out with a song called “Can’t Hold Us,” which contained the couplet: “We came here to live life like nobody was watching/I got my city right behind me, if I fall, they got me.” In the first line they want complete autonomy; in the second, complete community.
But, of course, you can’t really have both in pure form. If millennials are heading anywhere, it seems to be in the direction of community. Politically, millennials have been drawn to the class solidarity of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Hillary Clinton — secretive and a wall-builder — is the quintessence of boomer autonomy. She has trouble with younger voters.
Professionally, millennials are famous for bringing their whole self to work: turning the office into a source of friendships, meaning and social occasions.
I’m meeting more millennials who embrace the mentality expressed in the book “The Abundant Community,” by John McKnight and Peter Block. The authors are notably hostile to consumerism.
They are anti-institutional and anti-systems. “Our institutions can offer only service — not care — for care is the freely given commitment from the heart of one to another,” they write.
Millennials are oriented around neighborhood hospitality, rather than national identity or the borderless digital world. “A neighborhood is the place where you live and sleep.” How many of your physical neighbors know your name?
Maybe we’re on the cusp of some great cracking. Instead of just paying lip service to community while living for autonomy, I get the sense a lot of people are actually about to make the break and immerse themselves in demanding local community movements. It wouldn’t surprise me if the big change in the coming decades were this: an end to the apotheosis of freedom; more people making the modern equivalent of the Native American leap.


I have sent the following comment to some friends I am working on regarding a project for Ocean Forests in Comoros.

I have read the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger discussed in this NYT article. Junger opens up some excellent food for thought about how community values in primitive stone age societies provided a foundation for happiness that has been lost in the atomised consumerism of the modern world.

But there is a romantic flaw in the millennial reasoning here. Yes, people admire the freedom of primitive life and resent the regimentation and discipline of civilization. But the only thing that will deliver sustainability at scale is a capitalist corporation.

I would like Ocean Foresters to aim to become a profitable social enterprise, in a way that provides an effective route out of poverty for people such as our partners in Comoros. While there is an initial role for community based operation where that fits with values of partner countries, as things scale up it is essential to seek a path from informality to formal incorporation.

Wealth provides freedom and security, and in Comoros, as everywhere, that means turning small companies into medium sized companies, and eventually into big companies.

I see the debate about formality as a key challenge in development theory. While in the real world people are getting on with progress and growth based on the profit motive, there is also a parallel world funded by charity which seeks to make communal activity work.

Unfortunately, without a path to formality these well meaning charity activities are useless, in my opinion.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:44 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6361
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1850
Thanked: 2037 times in 1542 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Tribe: THE MEN AND THE DOGS
Robert Tulip wrote:
But there is a romantic flaw in the millennial reasoning here. Yes, people admire the freedom of primitive life and resent the regimentation and discipline of civilization. But the only thing that will deliver sustainability at scale is a capitalist corporation.

I would like Ocean Foresters to aim to become a profitable social enterprise, in a way that provides an effective route out of poverty for people such as our partners in Comoros. While there is an initial role for community based operation where that fits with values of partner countries, as things scale up it is essential to seek a path from informality to formal incorporation.

Wealth provides freedom and security, and in Comoros, as everywhere, that means turning small companies into medium sized companies, and eventually into big companies.

At this point, the ability of capitalism to create sustainability must be seen as a faith statement. But the introduction of capitalism to the argument does bring us closer to an explanation for the minor phenomenon of colonists abandoning their culture. Attributing that break to atomism and alienation is anachronistic, a projection of 20th Century ills back into the past. There would have been relatively high social cohesion in colonial and early American society. There is little doubt, however, that the economic environment was very competitive, a fact that could have made Indian life appear attractive to poor whites. Also significant would have been the lack of affluence for the majority of the population, meaning that to live off the land in Indian fashion wasn't choosing deprivation. Had the general level of white affluence been much higher, the probability of making the choice to quit capitalism would have been slender.

Poverty is, after all, partly socially defined by the baseline level of wealth in the society. As time went on and America grew wealthier, the Indians would have become viewed as poor, even if they met their basic needs quite well. Of course, working mightily against even minimal well-being was the genocidal policy of the U.S. government. A way of life such as that of the American Indian will be seen as impoverished because of its lack of the trappings of white culture, such as formal education and public works. That very attitude of the majority culture demoralizes the minority culture even if it is still allowed the resources to continue in traditional ways. There is as well the strong influence of paternalism or cultural imperialism, evidenced prominently by missionaries.

Capitalism relies on individual initiative and competition. If it is the best way forward, as history seems to have shown, it yet sorts people into winners and losers in a manner that is certain to create its own set of unique problems. Perhaps some societies today are more successful than others in mitigating these problems of capitalism.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
Robert Tulip
Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:45 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank