Jealousy – towards fierce egalitarianism….. a hunter gatherer way?


(Agnes Seitz) #1

a post I did on Feralculture FB page…but for me would make so much more sense here in forum…albeit it seems FB is where people are these days…

Feralist wrote : ( in a different FB thread…very interesting discussion on fake or real )

I wonder whether the implied notion that jealous is “bad” doesn’t reflect beliefs imparted by domestication culture.
I don’t mean that to be confrontational; it’s a sincere curiosity. “

I am soo curious that I think it is worth its very own discussion;and maybe starting a new thread here.

Reading- just lately-J. Suzman’ s book – Affluence without Abundance- his mentioning of jealousy really made me starting to rethink it…and it did open up a lot of questions .

He writes about mockery in the group and follows with:

“It was one of the many social leveling mechanisms Ju|’hoansi used for enforcing the fierce egalitarianism that enabled their ancestors to make such a good living for so long in this desert. When talking about social leveling mechanisms, Ju|’hoansi still describe the feelings that motivate them to insult or mock others as jealousy.”

A little further he follows – “If insults prevented hunters from getting too big for their leather sandals, it also created an atmosphere in which sharing was second nature “
and " well established social networks built on strong, emotionally fulfilling relationships are widely recognized as one of the most important determinants of happiness… for other hunter-gatherers like them , these cooperative networks were underwritten by affection and maintained by jealous egalitarianism "

So wow- my first gut reaction to Jealousy is…it s bad, everyone knows its BAD…and then I start wondering- in feralculture we look for what works/ worked for the wellbeing of a band, a community, and its landbase, what was functional in creating well being. One answer: jealousy… really??

Where does my automatic response of BAD,Bad Thing …come from ? and how can it become the ultimate argument to end a discussion… “ you are just jealous “ de-validates every argument that came before…no more discussion needed…

Turns out Envy and connected to it Jealousy are one of the 7 capital sins in Christianity…wow…yeah I remember that one from my childhood days…

So if a monotheistic, patriarchal, hierarchic institution needs to name a human response as one of the biggest evils- that makes me very suspicious…somewhere/ sometime this must have been one powerful human trait in keeping us away from their goals of oppression and becoming our rulers.

My question is…what are your thoughts / feelings on jealousy…?? And its place – or not- in creating feralculture community …