The traditional view of hunter-gatherer or “subsistence” cultures is that their life was generally “a precarious and arduous struggle for existence” (Lee 1968).
In Leviathan, Hobbes sums up this view of “primitive” man without government in a quote, of which the last part especially has become a famous reference to such cultures:
“No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”(Hobbes 1651)
However, empirical data on living hunter-gatherers (even though they tend to inhabit marginal, unproductive lands that agro-industrial cultures see as worthless) show a radically different picture (Lee 1968).
It should be obvious that our modern culture, though more connected than ever with the internet, is ironically the most lonely ever. The more “primitive” the culture, the less its “development,” the more socially connected it is.
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