My mea culpa: I have, for all my long life, thought some cultures superior to others. I was wrong, deeply wrong, perhaps unforgivably so. Cultures are all equal, as our great and reliable media, notably NPR and the New York Times, have told me.Cultures are just different, not better or worse. How can I have doubted it?
The blame for my rests entirely with me. I will no longer attribute my error to those false gods of the Radical Right: observation, common sense, morality, and an inability to escape the obvious.
For example, I find from Reuters:
“BENI Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – A crowd stoned to death a young man in northeast Congo on Friday before burning and eating his corpse, witnesses said, in apparent revenge for a series of attacks by Ugandan rebels.”
Here we have (I now see) a case not of grotesque animalism, as I once would have said, but of cultural versatility. Moslems eat beef but not pork, Hindus eat pork but not beef, but Africans eat both, and each other. They are simply freer spirits, not constrained by dour Eurocentric conventionality. This dietary quirk may be an evolutionary adaption to life in a region afflicted by famine. There is nothing wrong with cannibalism. In it we simply see another way of looking at things.
The Cultural Equality of Man
I’m going to take this in an edenic direction, because somebody (I think polymath?) raised a point of contention against Tex’s anthropology, which states that homo sapiens invaded Europe and annihilated homo neanderthalensis through superior numbers. Where are the remains? Surely if hundreds of thousands of saps were in Europe 50,000 years ago, one would expect to find a large number of remains.
(Caveat: anthropology is not an expertise of mine.)
Instead, all we seem to find are specious thal remains. It is likely that saps were eating each other, because this is a tradition maintained to this day among the purest breeds in sub-Sahara. One would expect them to eat each other at a greater rate in Europe, where they lacked an agricultural foothold (large-scale famine and unsustainable population growth being similar traditions propagated since the neolithic farming revolution).
I remember a Modern Scholar course once attributed the invention of cannibalism to the neanderthals based on the discovery of teeth marks on thal bones. (I have since observed that Modern Scholar courses are consistently and conspicuously inferior to the Great Courses, which knowledge I pass on to you free of charge.) Edenists, being the superior moleman race, know that the teeth marks match homo sapiens’ palates and not thals’. Neanderthals buried their dead, which would explain why their remains have survived 50K years. On the other hand, according to current doctrine the saps either ate their dead or left them on the ground to rot.
Anyway, I realize I’m just repeating stuff from better thinkers (Koanic and Tex). Repetition is good for you.
And an off-beat thought- are the flatheads from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series based on Tex’s conception of saps? Because they are exactly the same: origin story, swarming, uncontrolled breeding, cowardice, throwing spears, and all.