Nicholas Martinez, here’s some more for you to read about this, should you choose to.

“Men are just wired that way — it’s testosterone,” I’ve heard. Or maybe, “That’s just human nature.” They try to poke holes in my sources (scholarly articles and books from anthropologists and museums) or pretend I haven’t cited any at all, even though the citations are right there in front of them. They bring to me studies about violence and warfare that reflect data from only the past 12,000 years claiming that it’s valid for all of history or otherwise go into all manner of convolutions to try to prove that I am wrong about this. Why are these men so attached to a supposed history of belligerence, hierarchy, and cruelty?

It’s true that we don’t know for certain everything about Paleolithic life, but in between most current archeology, anthropology, and analogies to 20th Century hunter-gatherer societies, the overwhelming evidence points to the cooperative and egalitarian nature of Paleolithic tribes. This way of living carried into the early years of agriculture as well.

Anthropologist, Christopher Boehm, writes in his book, Hierarchy In The Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior

The three African great apes, with whom we share this rather recent Common Ancestor, are notably hierarchical. Reproductively fortunate are the high-ranking males or females, while those relegated to the bottom of the hierarchy fare less well. The same can be said of most human political societies in the world today, starting about five thousand years ago. At that time, people were beginning to increasingly live in chiefdoms, societies with highly privileged individuals who occupied hereditary positions of political leadership and social paramountcy. From certain well-developed chiefdoms came the six early civilizations, with their powerful and often despotic leaders. But before twelve-thousand years ago, humans basically were egalitarian (Knauft 1991). They lived in what might be called societies of equals, with minimal political centralization, and no social classes.

Anthropologist, Peter Gray has said when talking about modern hunter-gatherer tribes, “One anthropologist after another has been amazed by the degree of equality, individual autonomy, indulgent treatment of children, cooperation, and sharing in the hunter-gatherer culture that he or she studied. When you read about “warlike primitive tribes,” or about indigenous people who held slaves, or about tribal cultures with gross inequalities between men and women, you are not reading about band hunter-gatherers.”

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