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In numerous such pieces, I have held up the template of simple tribal society (STS) against the modus of EuroModernism (EM) , the mire that we are all enveloped in, within the Modern World.
I do not, incidentally, idealise any form of human existence.
Life is a losing game, under any system.
The violence of nature, and (the threat of) male violence, keep us all in a veritable hellscape.
But , there are some societal forms closer to our inner geist, and some not at all close.
So the only (irrefutable) argument I make is that STS is where our human essence is most fully gratified, where family, kindred and community , nurture all its members within a matrix of Affective ties.
It is where male violence is, to some extent, ‘tamed’ – intra-tribe – by affective bonds.
No other social system has ever come even remotely close to achieving that.
Bears thinking.
The contrast drawn is, also, of an organic community vs the formal ‘nation-state‘ dystopia we are trapped in.
STS is the exact antipode to our EM existence: free of its anomie, angst, and alienation.
Think about that.
As a realist, I proffer no panaceas, or utopias.
If there is any hint of a norm here , it is that I am suggesting that living in conformity with our essential human nature may be somewhat more authentic than living in a system that violently, and systematically, inverts, subverts, and thwarts, our innate/inner drives.
The state of simply Being,, under such circs., may well be more benign compared to the endless charades, masquerades, stresses, and strains , of ‘Becoming‘ – as demanded by the system we are subject to.
My point is not to ‘revert’ to a STS, but rather to draw important , indeed vital, lessons from it about who we really are as anthropic beings, worlds apart from who we think we are under misanthropic EM suppositions.
Once we grasp that, we can then reprioritise life and living, and reanimate, revitalise it, against the dreary, sullen , dudgeon that the EM wasteland imposes on us all.
There is no other way to overcome its dreadful alienation than to recapture the Affective Life all over again, rescuing it from the false allures of system-driven cupidity, ambition, and (senseless) achievement.
We may then glean , in metaphor, that we are mammals forced into donning reptilian guises.
Worse, it’s a consummate Death Machine, that kills the spirit long before it atrophies all our capabilities.
There could have been many, autonomous, Paths to Modernism, but the European Empire(s) precluded all other options by dint of their imposed version on the non-European world.
Most ‘progressives’ are still sold on EM ,fully immersed in its chimerical , utopian, temptings, to this day (all but unaware of
the pulls and pressures of the Paradigm that Rules us).
Like Sysiphus, they keep struggling, doggedly, up that hill , dreaming of imminent redemption.
They have a long way to go, I fear, to decolonise their minds.
Here is a documentary made by a brilliant ex-student of mine that tells of the stark contrasts between the two worlds, simply, succinctly. and graphically.
I suggest watching it.
Scroll down the page to the link that lets you watch the entire film.
It is a little less than an hr. long.
Then, think about it.
You just might begin to question the costs/benefits of the Great EM Parable of ‘Progress’?.
PS I rather think that if/when you tire of the
frenetic toggle of buying/selling, wheeling/dealing, huffing/puffing, pushing/shoving, and all those ethereal delights of everyday EM living, you might be prompted to take my Argument a bit more seriously. Of course, I can’t really be sure.

[© R.Kanth 2023]

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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