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You are a silly, silly man, and you know it! Cute post though - should bring in some good ad revenue.

Posted by Jude Fawley | December 19, 2006 9:56 AM

I take the same view on this than i do with straight people: I don't know why anyone would want to live like that but i can't see why they shouldn't be allowed, really. Just because I wouldnt want it for myself and sounds somewhat unsanitary doesn't mean they should be kept from whatever floats their boat.

Posted by Andreas | December 19, 2006 10:04 AM

Yes, why not leave them alone? From what I understand, the government wants to sell the land to developers.

They don't care if the Bushmen keep their old way of life or not. They just want them out of there.

Posted by yeah | December 19, 2006 10:07 AM

whoops, sorry. get it now. funny!

Posted by Andreas | December 19, 2006 10:13 AM

Preserving cultures that know how to survive without technology will be important when the current technological infrastructure collapses. They'll be the only people eating.

Posted by flamingbanjo | December 19, 2006 10:14 AM

the definition of sanity is merely majority opinion. that which separates us from the insane is only the smallest of margins.

Posted by charles | December 19, 2006 10:17 AM

How dare they refuse to accept the blessings of civilization? The nerve of them, unwilling to abandon the life they've known for generations to be assimilated into the global corporate hierarchy! Don't they know resistance is futile?

Why persist in living independently in a way that's working, when they could enjoy the benefits of wage slavery, famine, and high fructose corn sweetener? They should give in and become dependent and helpless, like modern people when the electricity goes off.

Posted by pox | December 19, 2006 10:20 AM

Perhaps these folks missed the PowerPoint presentation detailing the joys and opportunities available when you move to a 3rd world city slums.

Posted by Andres | December 19, 2006 10:35 AM

I generally don't comment on Charles' posts. They are usually too random or transparently designed to pick a fight. But I can't resist this one.

First, "Animals live in reserves (wildlife parks), not people". uh, do you really consider yourself to be distinctive from animals? Just like they say in the bible, right?

Second, you shouldn't comment on something you know little to nothing about. These people live a life any burnt out, overworked, "civilized" person would dream of. They work about 3-4 hours a day and chill out the rest of the time.

I must be crazy.

Posted by Mike in MO | December 19, 2006 10:41 AM

Lets get on the phone to Howard Shultz and demand a SBUX franchise out there. They won't be able to resist that.

Posted by Dave Coffman | December 19, 2006 10:56 AM

If your power went off for one month, then you would realize just how crazy it is to be reliant on computers, telephones, TV, even just turning on the tap for hot water any water for that matter. It only takes a few days for a complete breakdown of out society to the point of being helpless and having no ability to look after ourselves. If all this happened just for one month these people would not be affected by any of it they would survive. Many other people in this world would survive if a major catastrophe happened also, not because they go to Starbucks but because they don't. Many people in this world still hunt and survive of the land or it helps supplement their survival. Thank Some God you do not rule a African country, your way of looking at people that want to preserve their dignity and way of life is dismal.

Posted by Brian | December 19, 2006 11:12 AM

Charles is right.

There's no way these people can successfully continue to live as if the modern world doesn't exist. It's not a question of whether "we" should "permit" them to do so; it's a question of whether it's physically possible, and it's clear that it really isn't. How many of them are left in the bush? A thousand?

The hand-wringing about the morality of encroaching on their way of life or the poverty of the alternatives awaiting them in the cities is beside the point; that way of life is gone.

Tragically, the only options available to them now are to live in severely attenuated reserve situations, or to move to the city, where their integration is extremely doubtful. Their chances of success are probably not as good as American Indians, but about the same as the Australian aboriginal peoples. Now they will legally be allowed to return to the Kalahari, but their existence there will not be that of their ancestors; it will be a dispiriting simulacrum.

Before people get all agitated about my cultural imperialism, realize that this question of what to do about indigenous tribal people is universal; virtually every country on earth has suffered the in-migration of dominant people who wiped out, or culturally wiped out, the people who were there before them. The Japanese are not native to Japan; the Taiwanese are not native to Taiwan; the Arabs are not native to North Africa; etc. This is not a Western failing but a civilizational failing.

The funny business about Starbucks and so on ignores the reality of building functional economies in African countries. It's tantamount to saying "well, there's no way they'll ever survive, let 'em die."

Posted by Fnarf | December 19, 2006 11:18 AM

I hate to be Captain Obvious, but: Wasn't the whole point of this post "Bush"-People?

Posted by Andreas | December 19, 2006 11:29 AM

Whites may bear some responsibility for the Bushmen, thru that culprit colonialism, but the truth of the matter is that wherever landed cultures come into contact with foraging or pastoral societies, there is always strife. It can't be helped, because each tribe has a conflicting belief about how the land is to be used. Trying to start a fight over European attitudes toward Africans is rididculous, especially when you've adopted so many of them as your own.

However, there is something to be said about preserves. I agree, there is something antisocial about it, as it puts up a wall saying that neither side can accomodate the other. In that way, those inside do become beasts, in that their ways are too "primitive" to be accepted among civilized people outside. Those outside must be kept outside, because they will corrupt and undermine life as it has existed for millenia. Frankly, I think the Bushmen have an unrealistic view of their survival, but who can blame for rejecting the greater world which displaced them?

Posted by Matt | December 19, 2006 12:24 PM

The average hunter-gatherer expends one calorie to acquire 16 calories. The average American expends several hundred calories to acquire one calorie, through the use of non-renewable fossil fuels. Given that, whose lifestyle makes more sense?

Posted by Gitai | December 19, 2006 1:27 PM

The one with awesome numbers of calories?

Posted by Art | December 19, 2006 2:02 PM

The "Bushmen", to use the racist term, were not displaced by whites, but by blacks: the Bantu moved into Southern Africa and colonized it before any white person had ever been further inland than the Cape.

Gitai, your point would make more sense if caloric efficiency was the point of civilization, but seeing as it's not, I don't really care.

Posted by Fnarf | December 19, 2006 2:19 PM

FNARF: Your argument falls into the "self-fulfilling prophecy" category. By assuming that this way of life is doomed, we doom it. All your assertions are based on your own assumption that what has happened throughout history must always happen. Thus, civilizations always outstrip their natural resources and collapse; power always corrupts so why bother with voting?; poverty is inevitable; etc. I can't predict the future of these peoples' survival, but given the political will I don't think it would be too difficult to allow them to remain intact at least another few generations before their grandkids decide they want to accumulate equity.

You say that this "necessity" is tragic, from what I read you don't seem to really care.

Posted by Jude Fawley | December 19, 2006 2:32 PM

By the way, FNARF, what is the point of civilization?

Posted by Jude Fawley | December 19, 2006 2:34 PM

I think I will be much closer to Nirvana when I learn to laugh at your posts, Charles.

Posted by John | December 19, 2006 3:06 PM

charles only makes pronouncements. what's with all the fucking judgments?

Posted by chris | December 19, 2006 3:08 PM

Jude: the purpose of civilization is art.

I know it's fashionable, or was, to go on about how "primitive" peoples are so much more noble or close to the earth or whatever than we are, but they're not. You can't argue against the vehicle you're riding in.

As for not caring, that's kind of you to say, but really, who should we be caring about, the thousand-odd San, or the other billion or so? Africa tilts on the edge of a precipice.

Posted by Fnarf | December 19, 2006 4:22 PM

Do we have to choose? Are the few traditional people really that threatening to the onward march of civilization?

Posted by pox | December 19, 2006 5:46 PM

Fnarf, and how, pray tell, do the thousand-odd San living their lives as they choose interere with the billion-odd other Africans? I really don't think it's the San who are responsible for Africa's problems. It's not as if there's that much interest, worldwide, in improving things for most other Africans. All the San want, it seems, is to be left alone. Fat chance!

I don't believe that "primitive" people are more noble than us (whoever "us" are), or closer to the earth, or whatever. As Francis Jennings once remarked, though, the Indians were not less civilized than the European invaders, but that's not saying much. As Gandhi said, European civilization would be a good idea.

Posted by Duncan | December 21, 2006 4:26 PM

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