The turn away from tribalism · From tribalism to hierarchalism · What folks dislike about hierarchies · But aren’t tribes actually hierarchal?
The author says that, to build a village, you must grow some crops–and this is what most aboriginal villagers grow: some crops. Have students research aboriginal villagers still extant in Africa, South America, New Guinea, and elsewhere to find out what crops they grow and what food they hunt or collect by foraging.
The author says that every civilization that enters history ex nihilo (that is, from no previous civilization) enters with the same basic hierarchal social organization firmly in place. Have students report on what is known about the social organizations of civilizations that emerged in one of the places he mentions outside the New World (Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, or China).
Quinn says he doubts that anyone really needs him to explain what “the rulers” like about hierarchalism. What do they like about it?
See how many students have visited Disney World or any place like it. What was their impression of the workers they saw? What kind of work were they doing? Do you agree that “No one runs off to join Disney World”?
Among the circus boss’s jobs, Quinn says, are to decide who’s going to be hired and fired and to settle disputes. If people sometimes have to be fired and sometimes have disputes, doesn’t this mean that circus life is something less than perfect? How does this relate to other statements the author has made about the “perfection” of tribal life?