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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Noble Savages

We all know that the world-wide institution of slavery was largely eradicated by the Christian West, notably England, in the latter 19th Century due to the power it wielded over its empire. Today, slavery is practiced in the Sudan and in small tribes off the radar screen (except in National Geographics issues where the free folk show dances and costumes that are so “educational”).

John McWhorter, linguist and social commentator, in “Tribes and Westerners” discusses how Western intelligensia’s love for the “noble savage”, combined with a sneering plaint against “modern man’s” islation and greed, may be mistaken. He describes the life of women in an unnamed tribe who cannot leave their homes without their husband’s permission. Penalty? Beating. To leave the community? The penalty is death.

Western adulation of all non-Western ignores, he explains:

[T]he Jale tribe in Indonesia, [where] disputes and murder were common until foreigners encountered them in the 1960s. The same has been true of countless small groups. The Maori wiped out half of New Zealand's forests in five centuries. In the highlands of New Guinea, a boy's initiation ceremony has often consisted of having barbed grass pushed up his urethra until he bled, performing oral sex on an older man, and then being sodomized by another one…Some bar mitzvah.

And I complained about my bar mitzvah loot--- some chump change and a Don Rickles album (actually I memorized the Rickles routine and entertained friends for 40 years by repeating it and the money did purchase my first car, a Pontiac Lemans that died after 6 months and countless repairs).

While a slower pace in life is romantic and the rapacity of some of our modern brethren is appalling, Left-liberal academics who tout such opinion ignore that all men are created equal. We all have the capacity for the same negative traits regardless of our location. It is the modern world’s striving for improvement that has led to greater creature comforts, health and modern convenience. The spiritual development is a continuing lesson for us all.

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