Controlling Land & Resources

People living in the United States and other “developed” nations have difficulty understanding hunter-gatherers’ world view. Hunter-gatherers’ life style depends on the quality and plentifulness of resources on the land they can control against other hunter-gatherers.

 The most militaristic people live on the best land and enjoy the best quality of life. Less militaristic people live on the poorest land, having been pushed off better land. But to keep their land and resources they are continually in a state of war against others. If a group wants what another group has, they kill all men, women, and children of the revival people. The denominating group is only interested in possessing the land and resources previously owned by the conquered group.

 This pattern can be seen in many incidences in world history and today. A few examples include:

Ø  A group of ancient, nomadic people moved out of the Sinai into land controlled by another group living on much better land along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. City-state after city state were conquered and all the people killed.

Ø  When Lewis and Clark found Sacagawea’s people, the Shoshoni, in present-day Idaho, they were starving because neighboring tribes had European trade rifles and they did not. Their better equipped, more militaristic neighbors had pushed them out on what is now Montana where buffalo herds were plentiful into the less hospitable Bitterroot Mountains.

Ø  Although Jared Diamond’s basic concept of geological determinism is seriously flawed, as found in Guns, Germs, and Steel, he documents the genocide of the Moriori by the Maori in Chapter 2, “A Natural Experiment of History.”


© Joseph L. Bass, EdD,  June 2020