Wandered In Off The Internet
I wouldn't get too teary-eyed about those poor old "Noble Savages".
Primitive or indigenous cultures are pretty much like modern cultures in that there are good ones and bad ones. And the difference between the bad and good has more to do with their inherent genetic loading rather than with any degree of pristine isolation.
It's pretty obvious that Rousseau never actually met any real savages, because anyone who has spent any length of time with primitive or indigenous societies knows that one's admiration for same is inversely correlated with one's length of familiarization.
I have yet to meet any regular person that has lived with primitive/indigenous peoples for a significant period of time that doesn't hold them in contempt. Needless to say, reality doesn't sell well to the Noble Savage savants, so the professional adventurers have to keep up a steady flow of faith-promoting stories of wise shamans and true-blue savage side-kicks for the hicks back home.
And as for primitive peoples living in "harmony with nature", that is the biggest joke of all. The only primitive people that live in harmony with nature are the ones that are too stupid to do anything else. History is replete with examples of primitive tribes getting their hands on improved technology and then proceeding to rape and pillage the environment at a rate that would make a 19th century Robber Baron blush.
And don't blame modern or Western technology either. The extreme destruction caused by these technology-enhanced primitives simply demonstrates their extreme disdain for the natural world. In fact, for thousands of years primitive peoples with just their primitive tools have made the active, aggressive, wide-spread, ongoing destruction of the environment an integral part of their culture.
Of course, I'm sure all of you Noble Savage dilettantes are very familiar with that ingenious, indigenous, culturally relevant, "natural" farming method developed over thousands of years by instinctively ecologically sensitive primitive farmers, known by its technical name as Swidden Agriculture, but more commonly called by it's more endearing, descriptive colloquial name, i.e., slash and burn farming.
The truth is that ecology and nature preservation is a Western idea and movement. The urge to preserve or regain that primeval world of our ancestors seems to be an innate part of our racial soul.
A casual perusal of the whole back-to-nature, out-side, adventure sports, eco-travel, save-the-earth-rain forest-snail darter-Tasadays-spotted owl-Miskito Indians-whatever movement is composed almost exclusively of Westerners, or for those of you not quite so PC, White people.
To prove my point, oh so poignantly, the latest issue of Outside magazine has an article, (tucked in between the endless articles of endless streams of White folks engaging in an incredible array of outdoor activities), entitled The Outdoors Are Too White. Discuss.
It is a panel of, apparently, all the non-white outdoorsy types they could round up, all five of them, who proceed to whine about Whiiiite outdoorsy types not being Incluuusive.
It kinda reminds me of that famous interview with Sir Edmund Hillary where he explains that he was unable to climb Mt Everest because those Sherpas made him feel "different".
-Charles "The Hammer " Martel