Thursday, December 10, 2009

Constant Battles Inhumanity And Carrying Capacity

Stewart Brand quoted Steven LeBlanc's Constant Battles in his book Whole Earth Discipline. Now I have another title on my list. LeBlanc is a Harvard archaeologist, and Brand summarizes Constant Battles as showing that, for most our history, we have dealt with the carrying capacities of our ranges by robbing our neighbors, killing them, or enslaving them. In spite of World Wars, we modern people lose about three percent of adult males to war, but over our history we've lost twenty-five percent that way. This rang a bell for me. Napoleon Chignon says this is about what the Yanomamo, an Amazonian people, lose to war.

The Nazis weren't monsters, they were vestiges. If we're not careful, we may see them again, or worse, be them.


GooseBreeder said...

Thought we are already seeing them in Europe.

Tom Roark said...

Yeah, here, too. I'm thinking in charge, though.