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Analysis Of The Worst Mistake In Human History By Jared Diamond

918 words - 4 pages

Jared Diamond makes the argument that when humans decided 10,000 years ago to no longer be hunter-gatherers and made the decision to become sedentary and start domesticating their animals and crops, the result is that the human race has experienced a steady downfall. Diamond makes the point that “with agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism that curse our existence,” (Diamond). While the present system certainly is far from being perfected, Diamond’s various complaints and solutions certainly would not be of much use in the present time either.
Diamond states that the reason hunter-gatherer groups became agriculturists was simply because it was easier to create more food for your individual group if it was grown, this statement does have validity. Everyone would be responsible for themselves and would be expected to help out. There wouldn’t be the constant grumbling that there are so many people being lazy and living off of handouts like there are in the modern world today.
There is also a valid argument that sexism probably would not be as prevalent either. If everyone in the group is responsible for the exact same thing and everyone is always on the move, there certainly would not seem to be much time left for gender stratification like there is in the modern world where the woman is expected to provide child care, perform housework, as well as usually have an outside of the home place of employment.
There also would not be as large of a population as based on Diamonds’ statement, “ nomadic hunter-gatherers have to keep their children spaced at four year intervals by infanticide and other means,” (Diamond). While certainly not advocating any form of infanticide, if a woman only has one child every four years, it certainly would help control the population as it controls her child bearing years unlike the modern era, where some women have barely one year between each child.
Another extremely valid point made by Diamond is the diet differences between the sedentary and hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherers lived on a more protein rich diet, subsidized by various edible plants they found. Most farming crops consist of starchy, high carbohydrate foods. While there is certainly more food to go around that way, the more carbohydrates in ones’ diet, generally the less healthy that person is. Protein is an extremely important component to making the human body function properly. Carbohydrates are used up much faster than protein and therefore, the person on the high carbohydrate diet is going to be hungry again much sooner than the person on the higher protein diet and get less benefit as far as energy goes. Also, farmers ran the risk of starvation if a crop failed, such as...

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