Thursday, April 11, 2013


...[H]unter-gatherer egalitarianism is rather a sham.  ... [E]ven the most egalitarian of them had a dominance hierarchy as clear-cut as tht in any ape society. The difference is that for humans, the alpha elite were invisible supernatural beings, far too powerful to be overthrown, while the betas were ancestors who did the bidding of the alphas.  No "egalitarian" hunter-gatherer was ever more than a gamma in the social hierarchy,.
--Steven Mithen, "Foresomes and so on," reviewing and interpreting Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, The Creation of Inequality (2012), London Review of Books 11 April 2013, 17-18, 17.  Cf. link, link, link.

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