debunking the well-financed HYPE, re: Jared Diamond, et al
Jared Diamond and two other authors are challenged in this indepth rebuttal posted on survivalinternational’s blog! See: exploding the myth of Indigenous folks as “brutal”, etc.
Survival exposes the ‘Brutal Savage’ myth by examining the recent work of some ‘popular science’ writers, who claim that tribal peoples live in a state of ‘chronic’ violence.
Steven Pinker (‘evolutionary psychologist’)
In The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011), Steven Pinker promotes a fictitious, colonialist image of a backward ‘Brutal Savage’, which pushes the debate on tribal peoples’ rights back over a century and is still used to justify their destruction. Read more about why Pinker’s ‘science’ is wrong.
Napoleon Chagnon (anthropologist)
Steven Pinker would arguably not have been able to reach the conclusions he does about tribal violence without the highly controversial work of a single anthropologist: Napoleon Chagnon studied the Yanomami tribe from the 1960s, calling them ‘The Fierce People’. But are the Yanomami really fierce?
Napoleon Chagnon’s view that the Yanomami are ‘sly, aggressive and intimidating’ and that they ‘live in a state of chronic warfare’ has been widely discredited. Nonetheless, both Diamond and Pinker’s conclusions about tribal violence rely heavily on his work.
Jared Diamond (geographer)
Jared Diamond’s 2012 book, The World Until Yesterday is ostensibly about what industrialized people (whom he calls ‘modern’) can learn from tribal peoples (he calls them ‘traditional’). His book, however, carries a false and dangerous message – that most tribes engage in constant warfare, both needing and welcoming state intervention to stop their violent behavior. Read more.