Neanderthal and Anarchy

Noam Chomsky remarked in passing that Neanderthal were on the earth a total of 400,000 years and as far as we know their form of government was anarchy (which does not mean shear chaos but rather loosely associated tribal groups similar to the town in the opening scene of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” and similar to tribal regions in Pakistan and Afghanistan today.) Our ancestors, the Homo Sapiens have only been around about 200,000. The complete Neanderthal genome has actually been constructed from fossil DNA. No Neanderthal artifact has ever been discovered which could not have come from farther than 50 miles of the camp site. Neanderthal tools never changed. The Neanderthal ate only meat and burned about 5,000 calories a day. A Homo Sapiens has a hard time burning more than 4,000 calories a day (I think.) All male Neanderthal skeletons show multiple healed fractures. Neanderthal used a short heavy spear which could not be thrown and so they had to get quite close to their prey. It has occurred to me that some spirit of charity towards wounded hunters was a survival advantage to the group. Groups who were selfish and refused to nurse an injured hunter back to health probably died off.

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well, think of the times when people negotiate and talk of a “win win” compromise. That Indian may have had some fierce sense of morality which compelled him to purchase the trinkets with the pelts. But, also, he may have had the entrepreneurial insight to realize that if he gave something to the strange new white people, then they might further benefit him. You know how they say “there is no such thing as a free lunch” and “if it’s too good to be true then it probably isn’t true.” I mean, try to think of a purely selfless action done with absolutely no hope or expectation of some “quid pro quo” return. Some people might point to a Socrates or a Buddha or a Jesus but even in those extreme situations it is still possible to see some kind of “quid pro quo” at work. I could be totally wrong and I often am. Just saying. But when Pres. McKinley agonized over the ethics of invading the Philippines it is said that he knelt in prayer and SUDDENLY the Lord answered him with the realization that it was kind of his “white man’s burden” to civilize these distant savages (even though they were and are deeply Roman Catholic and were under Spanish rule for over 300 years.) But when the Lord Almighty shined the light of understanding into the heart of Pres. McKinley he was able to sleep like a baby! —- Also, it has to do with that selfish gene business and the unselfish gene, the more rotten S.O.B’s simply died off because there is some quid pro quo advantage of natural selection to being “a nice guy.”

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