Originally Posted by SNeacail
I liked it, but thought it was pretty one sided. I felt as if the authors were pushing the idea that the "Hunter/Gatherer" society was far superior than the "Agrarian" societies and we should do away with agriculture all together and go back to being hunter/gatherers. There didn't seem to be much room for a balance between the two.
I agree that the authors were pretty clear that immediate-return hunter gatherer societies had some structural advantages with respect to egalitarian balance between the sexes, role of sex in society, and role of property/possessions.
He was pretty clear about the role of agriculture having some clear advantages in being able to support much larger populations - but still leading to systematic poverty, etc... It's success from a cultural/technical evolution perspective is manifest. It is a successful model and - now - necessary to our very survival. Which is why there was so much hand wringing about it in the book - the unintended consequences are severe.
I thought it a provocative argument. Only one sided in the sense that he doesn't spend a lot of time on arguing how agricultural revolution allowed our species to dominate the earth in real terms. I also don't think it requires much argument. He was focused on the under-appreciated impact of this wildly success cultural/techno revolution.