The Thick Façade of Civilization

I have just discovered this wonderful article:

It comes as no surprise to find out that the author is a man of the sea and sails a yacht. Bernard Moitessier anchored his boat in French Polynesia and only returned to France to die.

I will be reading more of Ray Jason’s writings.

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4 Responses to The Thick Façade of Civilization

  1. He’s wrong. Hunter-gatherer tribes were as brutal as any civilized army; their descendants still are, in many places. The Pueblo carved homes out of stone cliffs hundreds of feet above the ground because they were terrified of their neighbors. The Mayas, the Aztecs, North American tribes all brutalized their rivals.

    I do agree with the author that there is such a thing as too much civilization. In a hunter-gatherer tribe, pedophiliacs would be killed on the spot, and less offensive deviants would be driven into exile.

    • ed pacht says:

      You’re wrong in most of what you’ve said here. Pueblos, Mayas, and Aztecs were highly civilized agricultural societies as were many, if not most of the North American tribes (to greater or lesser degree). Few of them were hunter-gatherers. Those raiding the Pueblos (of whom little is known) couldn’t have been true hunter-gatherers any longer either, as they were at least partially dependent on the civilized communities they were raiding. Furthermore, in many currently extant hunter-gatherer societies it is not at all uncommon for pre-pubescent children to be already sexually active, and sometimes this is expected of them.

      All that said, however, I agree with you that his idealistic portrait has very little merit. Human beings seem very prone, ‘civilized’ or not, to violence and irrational behaviors (what traditional Christians describe as ‘original sin’), and it takes a great deal of societal pressure to restrain these impulses.

  2. James Morgan says:

    I recommend two blogs which are more ‘useful’ than the Sea Gypsie:
    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/ and http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/
    Been following them for a while and both very un ‘romantic’ and thoughtful.
    James Morgan

  3. Ray Jason says:

    Hi Fr. Anthony,

    Thanks for speaking highly of my recent post. You will be intrigued to learn that I was a personal friend of Bernard Moitessier’s and learned celestial navigation from him aboard his famous ketch JOSHUA. I lalso brought the standing rigging from JOSHUA after she went up on the beach in Cabo San Lucas up to Sausalito for Bernard when I was crewing on a Swan 65 delivery from Mexico to San Francisco. He used that rigging (cut down) on his last boat TAMATA. He and I share(d) pantheistic inclinations.

    BTW for your readers, I never state that hunter/gatherers were perfect societal groups, rather that they were far better than our techno-industrial civilization model. Also, Dmitry found enough merit in that essay to repost it at Club Orlov.

    Thanks again,

    Ray Jason

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