Aboriginals and Civilization
The Independent titles a article “What happens when an uncontacted tribe meets ‘civilisation’?” Putting the word ‘civilization’ in scare-quotes is the intellectual equivalent of vaccine-rejectionism. We have it so good, we’ve forgotten what the alternative was.
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Earlier this week, The Guardian had an article about Peruvian authorities trying to keep people away from an uncontacted tribe that seems to have been migrating.
I always think this is an impossible situation. On the one hand, tribal life is generally wretched. The idea that it’s worth preserving for its own sake is absurd. (Book recommendation: Mark A Ritchie’s Spirit of the Rainforest. You’ll never put ‘civilization’ in scare-quotes again.)
On the other hand, aboriginals have totally failed to adapt to modern society. Those few who weren’t simply wiped out by disease now live in poverty amidst a host of social pathologies.
So there’s very little hope that aboriginals will live well no matter what happens.
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Update: The Globe and Mail is running a series on The Trials of Nunavut.