Time Thought Exercise 2
When Rousseau in the brief module reading speaks of pre-historical (“caveman”) humankind, he is at once trying to imagine what sociality was really like before “civilization” and (perhaps mostly) complaining about the ills of “civilization.”
Of course, we can never, once “civilized,” go back to a more “natural” state (how could one have a career and etc.?) and yet this is a nostalgic longing that recurs in various guises: hippies living on communes, going backpacking in the wilderness when all is simplified, or perhaps just exercising a bit of anti-consumerist/non-competitive Zen-ness in your life or domestic arrangements, or even just remembering the relatively care-free days of your childhood.
Here’s the topic/query: do you believe we have “fallen” into too much hyper-civilization/rat race/whatever, sacrificing our primary animal spontaneity for the benefits of “civilization”? Does Rousseau’s complaint seem reasonable to you or just naïve nostalgia or whining?
Optionally or additionally: maybe “you” can’t return to a “native” existence, but should we respect and, even more so, protect the lifestyles/habits of current tribes such as depicted in two of the other module readings? Consider, if you wish, the “cost/benefits” of preserving a relatively isolated or non-“Western” integrated culture versus all the perhaps inexorable forces (not necessarily malign) of capitalistic/industrial advancement.