In terms of practical self-sufficiency, you're surely right that the hunter-gatherers were more mature than decadent First Worlders and internet-users like us.

Elsewhere, though, I explain in metahistorical terms how animism or narrowness of historic vision made the hunter-gatherers childlike compared to those in the modern age who look back on millions of years of life's evolutionary record. (See the first link below.)

These charges of being childlike are meaningful only relative to some standard of maturity. The standard I'm using is the existential one of personal authenticity. It's possible to be mature in one sense and infantile in another.

An earlier article of mine on American infantilism (see the second link) goes into more detail in paradoxically pinning the blame for modern infantilization on liberalism and Enlightenment individualism. Too much freedom can make us infantile as opposed to being committed to existential truth.

I'm not saying "infantilism" is the only way of explaining these things, but it's a pretty striking and ironic one. And irony amuses me.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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