Marshall Sahlins Arguments Of Hunter-Gatherer Societies

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Marshall Sahlins presents a very interesting argument about the hunter-gatherer societies that have existed for quite some time. Many people tend to view these people and think that they do not have the necessities in life and are deprived. The point Sahlins attempts to show to his readers is that these hunter-gatherers were in fact affluent and lived in a lifestyle of wealth in their own respect. Their idea of “wealth” was simplicity and they were always comfortable in their situations. They, as opposed to modern societies, were not constrained by the economic idea of scarcity. If they needed anything, they could make it or find it easily in their surroundings and they always knew the right time of year or location to find a given resource. They always had what they need, which cannot be said about all members of modern societies.…show more content…
His first example was of Destutt de Tracy and Karl Marx where they stated that ““in poor nations the people are comfortable” whereas in rich nations, “they are generally poor”.” This example brings up the idea of simplicity, which the hunter-gatherers clearly live by. This theory is that the simpler we can make our lives, the more comfortable we will be. But when we complicate it with all of the pressures and issues related to richer modern societies, our lives in a sense become poor. More evidence that Sahlins presents is from Sir George Grey who states that “Generally speaking, the natives live well… It is, however, utterly impossible for a traveller or even for a strange native to judge… [the natives] know exactly what it produces, the proper time at which the several articles are in season, and the rediest means of procuring them.” Based on Sir George Grey’s information, readers can see that in reality, these hunter-gatherers have everything they need and are in fact extremely good at collecting the

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