04 abril 2014

Sex at Dawn

I am reading the book of that name. An australian man who I met in a hostel in Belfast recommended it to me after a very interesting talk. And it is amazing. The most amazing book I have read in years. Maybe in all my life.

The book is mainly an antropologic text. It talks about our ancestors. Not only about our homo sapiens ancestors but also about our hominid ones. I had already read books of, between others, Jared Diamond and Marvin Harris, two famous anthropologists. I also knew several things about compared cognition between humans and other mammals. And I had also read, just last summer, in a Social Psychology text, that it is possible that prehistoric populations were more pacific because they did not have anything to protect. They were nomads. They had not fields, nor animals, nor houses.

Until now I had always believed that the discovery of agriculture and livestock was a total win for our species. How could it not be that way? Agriculture provided us of easy cereals, fruits and vegetables in a increasing quantity. And livestock? Instead of being obliged to hunt, we had domestic animals that we could eat whenever we wanted. That easy access to food allowed us to have more free time to create art, writings, and every discovery or invention we have made.

However, it is no that easy. There are increasing evidences, coming from many different disciplines, saying that our prehistoric ancestors did not live that bad. And, the more astonishing thing. They probably enjoyed their lifes much more than we do. However, the most incredible thing you are going to listen is that they had the better gender equality our species have ever had. And they got it through sex. Open, concupiscent, joyful, extramarital and shared sex.

Even more, what we have always considered as the beginning of civilitation, the discovery of agriculture and livestock, also brought us materialism, war and sexism. When we noticed that we had things to maintain, we started feeling possessiveness, being suspicious against foreigners and considering everything as an object, something to get. Including women.

Since the "wheel" of civilization was discovered it have never stopped rolling. The civilizations have prospered conquering new territories to feed their rising populations. Peaceful, prehistoric groups have dissapeared, pushed out their resources, killed, slaughtered or integrated into the new way of doing things. Day by day, century by century, materialism has won the war. There is no more space in our world to think different. The wheel is not a wheel. Is a monstrous engineering, made of mass media, money, religion, power and culture.

In that situation, "Stop the world, I am get off" acquires sudden sense. However, to get off is not possible anymore. Not in our world full of materialism, advertisement and cultural agreements. And, if you had not noticed it yet, everyone in history who tried to just live apart from "civilization" failed. And paid or is paying it with its life.

I almost started this blog talking about San People. I want to finish this post with them too. They are one of the latest prehistoric people still alive in our planet. They do not work more than three hours a day. They are nice, polite, smiling, joking and peaceful. They have no possesions. They are, or used to be, nomads, and women have a high, equal, status in its society. However, they have also been pushed out their original territories for centuries. And they are one of the last examples of how we treat not "culturised" people.

San People teaches us how to achieve gender equality, peace and joy. Prehistoric people had it all too. Will we learn their lessons? Could we integrate them in our fast rolling world?

Sex at Dawn. The book.