I realize it's a racist stereotype, but with movies like Avatar being crammed down our throats it seems to be especially prevalent. I'm thinking maybe it's not such a bad thing to romanticize so-called "savage" lifestyles. Indigenous cultures where they have until recently been living in the way they've lived for thoushands of years are increasingly being destroyed by global captialism. These people often live in an ecologically sustainable way and they may even have egalitarian social structures. Marx called this "primitive communism." Perhaps we could look at these cultures as examples for a future society that we would want to live in. Through the concept of gift economy they offer a way out of the capitalist establishment. It's often said that 99% of human history was hunter-gatherer type societies. It must have worked for it to last so long. I'm not an advocate of the total destruction of civilization, including language and technology, like people like John Zerzan. I do, however, think we have a lot to learn from what until recently were called "primitive" peoples. The unilinear model of cultural evolution is no longer accepted. I would propose a circular model of cultural evolution.
I have the opinion that evolution of the human species was never linear on this planet, but circular as u name it and the proof is some monuments such as Pyramids left on some sites but not built by people of local civilizations.Some natural catastrophes changed the evolution of advanced cultures and humanity had to come backwords to some ''primitive form'' many times , much more than Historians consider.
Wow! What a great post! Is anyone out there familiar with the 1000 year rule? I was told this by someone and it seems to hold true when you look at archaeological history: Basically state-level societies only last for about 1000 years and then they collapse. Egypt may seem to be an exception, but when looked at more closely you find that Egypt had upheaval after upheaval and thus no Egyptian dynasty ruled for quite 1000 years. America and its empire is very young. However, it does seem like contradictions within the system are propelling us toward societal collapse.
Back to the "nobel savage" point. The people that seem to point out this stereotype seem to be ones who look only at the bad things that indigenous cultures do and not the positive things. Thus, romanticization of these cultures is demonized. But often these intellectuals are the ones advocating the destruction of these cultures.