Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stamp it out

I've referred to Nicholas Wade's Before The Dawn in another post. It's the one that reveals that, contrary to the fantasies of so many among us (especially the us that hate us), primitive man was no peace-loving darling of Mother Nature, but a being soaked in blood and fear. Mark Steyn's on the case now, and quotes some delicious examples of self-deceit.

But professor Keeley and Steven LeBlanc of Harvard disclose almost as an aside that, in fact, their scientific colleagues were equally invested in the notion of the noble primitive living in peace with nature and his fellow man, even though no such creature appears to have existed. "Most archaeologists," says LeBlanc, "ignored the fortifications around Mayan cities and viewed the Mayan elite as peaceful priests. But over the last 20 years Mayan records have been deciphered. Contrary to archaeologists' wishful thinking, they show the allegedly peaceful elite was heavily into war, conquest and the sanguinary sacrifice of beaten opponents.... The large number of copper and bronze axes found in Late Neolithic and Bronze Age burials were held to be not battle axes but a form of money."
Steyn asks the question, the obvious question, Why do people want to believe in this fantasy? He doesn't answer it, but restates it.
War has been the natural condition of mankind for thousands of years, and our civilization is a very fragile exception to that. What does it say about us that so many of our elites believe exactly the opposite -- that we are a monstrous violent rupture with our primitive pacifist ancestors?
No answer to the big question, but at least he remembers.
The reality is that "civilization" -- Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian -- worked very hard to stamp out the primitive within us, and for good reason.
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