You, and I, and other liberals have long been mistaken about the Noble Savage, but that is actually good evidence for progressives. Hobbes and Rousseau got it all tangled up. The question is not, is man inherently good or evil. Primitive man was a brute because he/she was at an immature stage of moral evolution. Archaeology and anthropology have discovered that violence decreases over the ages. That is evidence for progress. The myth of the noble savage is a dead end for the left because civilization and government become the enemy. That leads to anarchy. Anarchy is not progress.

Rousseau was oppressed by a monarchy. Freedom from a king was his progress, but yesterday's liberal is frequently today's conservative. Political positions (L&R) are relative to the historical time frame the writer lived in. Until we break out of the myth of the noble savage, we will be helping libertarians and anarchists. I know. This is a big reversal, but this has been tripping us up for a long time. Please read The Better Angels of our Nature by Steven Pinker. Violence and war are going extinct. Real data. I know that evolutionary psychologists in the past deservedly got a bad reputation. Sociobiology etc. They spun the research to the right. They thought they had proved Hobbes right etc. But they are coming around fast. Pinker for one. This is an important development. Evolution proves progress. Hobbes was right about PRIMITIVE man, but man evolves from violent competition to peaceful cooperation.


Joe Phillips LCSW's picture
Joe Phillips LCSW 2 years 34 weeks ago

Sorry,,,,Sociobiology. Not sociology.

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