Mason, Jim.  An Unnatural Order
New York: 1993
ISBN 0671769235

Page 271

When we look at the imbalance of power and wealth in the world, we see clearly that the most dominionistic societies have the lion’s share of both. This, of course, leaves less for the countries whom they exploit, so we have a burgeoning world underclass. Our notion of “modern progress” is either cruel or moronic when our “development” has created more people poor and hungry today than ever before in history. If this sounds like a sweeping statement, just think for a minute: This earth didn’t even have a billion people until the early 1800s. Even then, not a fifth were poor and hungry because people in those days still had access to land and the means to produce their own food. Go back further—before agriculture, which is though to have fed more people.

Tribal forager peoples did not suffer massive famines and chronic starvation. They may have had a bad season and lost some weight, but they did not go hungry year in and year out. We know this from archaeological evidence, from bones, teeth, and other remains, which reveal no signs of the malnutrition and wasting diseases we see today in the children of the poorest countries in Africa, India, and Asia. We know this, too, because we understand foragers’ extensive knowledge of the environment and their easy mobility within it. Strange, isn’t it, that the whole of human society was better off, and probably a great deal happier, before we began intensifying food production.